A day in the life of a tax trainee at Carpenter Box

Tax trainee, Signe Malhotra, gives us an insight into a working day at Carpenter Box.

Signe has been a trainee with Carpenter Box since April 2022 and works in the Crawley office as part of the Tax Services Group. She has been training for her ATT (Association of Tax Technicians) qualification and has recently just passed her Law CBE paper and awaiting the result of her Personal Taxation paper (fingers crossed for January 2023!).

Signe also has ambitions to do the CTA (Chartered Tax Adviser) qualification in the future.


Pictured above: Signe Malhotra (Tax trainee at Carpenter Box, based in our Gatwick office.)

My morning starts at 6 am, with the loud purring of 2 hungry ragdoll kittens asking for food, 2 chattering small children asking for telly time and a husband asking for a towel. Unsure who to prioritise so early in the morning!

I grab a quick coffee & something to munch on during my drive to work. I check I have everything for my day: Laptop-check, phone-check, bag-check, keys-check. Off to work!

Reaching work

It doesn’t take long to reach work and traffic in Crawley itself is quite light. Carpenter Box operates a flexible time working policy, so if I start work early, I can finish early too. That is useful when you have a family with kids.

I can book my parking space the night before and go straight in, or if I forget, I can park on a street close to work.

At 08.50 am, I arrived at work. I greet everyone as I enter the office, getting a lot of smiles and waves back. I like the people here, they’re a friendly bunch.

We have lots of teams spread across two floors in an open-plan office layout: Audit, Business Services Group, Financial Advisers, Bookkeeping, Admin and Tax. The desks need to be pre-booked and people do change places often. It’s a great way to meet new people! My team always sit together in one area as we need to work together on various assignments.

After having a cuppa, and probably a piece of cake brought in by someone – it’s time to do some work.

The work

As a tax trainee, my role is split between personal and business tax, and it is full of variety. It can range from tax returns, calls to HMRC, drafting client emails, assistance with company secretarial documents research on specific tax areas, etc. 

The good thing about being a tax trainee is that I receive a lot of coaching and feedback from my managers. This allows me to constantly improve at my job. In addition, I can request to be involved in assignments related to some specific areas of tax, to help improve my knowledge and feel better prepared for exams.

My team supports other teams on tax matters, separate from our own clients. So occasionally, I have to drop everything I am working on and complete an urgent task for someone else. That adds variety and I really enjoy the exposure.


I have my lunch at 1 pm. As the office is centrally located, there are many options to pick from. I can walk to a few restaurants, fast-food joints or just Sainsbury to grab a sandwich. There is also a great kitchen area in the office where I can eat my lunch over a natter with colleagues.

Sometimes we have social events during lunch. Since I’ve been here, I’ve attended a few welcome lunches, drinks and pool sessions. We do have fun!

Work after lunch

The day carries on in the same vein, and I finish my tasks for the day, using a prioritised calendar.

Home time

At 17:30 I finished for the day. Once home, I cook dinner and spend the rest of the evening with my kids and husband. It is great to be back with them, listening to their exciting stories about how their day went.

Study days and weekends

I prep for exams on the study day I get from work and some weekends. This helps me steam ahead with completing my professional qualifications, in tandem with the rich work experience I get at Carpenter Box!

Want to know more about our trainee positions?

Signe, a trainee based in our Gatwick office, undoubtedly appreciates her work and the work-life balance that trainees get to enjoy at Carpenter Box. So many trainees point to the family feeling that the company encourages and how their well-being is paramount to everyone, all the way through the entire Team. To find out more about a trainee position at Carpenter Box you can check out our website, or alternatively, you can contact me or a member of my team on 01903 234094.