Tax Market Review 2017/18: Tax within Corporates

Jon Williams Corporate Finance and M&A Insights, Tax in Commerce & Industry, Market Insight...

After the turbulent months following the vote to formally leave the European Union, Brewer Morris has been fortunate enough to enjoy a period of sustained activity across the C&I tax market. From Q4 2016, demand across all specialisms and levels increased and in particular, the number of smaller businesses hiring tax resource for the first time or “upskilling” their tax departments has been most noticeable. In fact, almost half of those who completed the survey reported that their teams had grown in the last 12 months.

This increased demand for resource has had a knock-on effect with regards to base salary and packages as a whole. It was encouraging to see that the value-add that a well-resourced tax function offers, is also being recognised with 45% of respondents receiving a larger bonus than in previous years. When considering the “hot spots” in the tax market it might surprise some to hear that there has been an increase in demand for international tax experience; including the advisory, structuring and planning elements of these roles. There is continued demand at the junior levels for candidates who can bring rigour to the compliance and reporting process and transfer pricing professionals at all levels remain a sought-after commodity.

Predictions & Outlook
Encouragingly, more than half of the Tax Directors who took part in our survey are planning to grow their tax function over the next 9 to 12 months across a variety of specialisms and levels. However, international tax, transfer pricing and more junior compliance and reporting skills continue to be the most sought after competencies. The factors behind these recruitment trends vary; but BEPs, increased compliance and reporting requirements and automation and robotics are all mentioned.

On writing this, we are in the midst of what is usually a quiet period over the summer months. This has not been the case in any section of the tax market with new instructions daily and at all levels, so long may it continue.