Remuneration and market trends for heads of tax

Author Michael Johnson
September 27, 2022

The last 18 months have seen some of the most significant demand in tax recruitment that I have experienced in my 15 year career. As many of you will have experienced from your own day to day roles, and from hiring in to your teams, the demands placed upon tax functions and their subsequent value to organisations have dramatically increased. Earlier this year, we released our Tax Salary Survey, which identified pay increases across all areas of tax and at all levels. The demand for talent at Newly Qualified to Senior Manager levels has been well documented but, for our Heads of Tax Journal, we wanted to examine the drivers for the material pay increases that we have seen at the more senior end of the market and look more closely at the structure of typical remuneration packages in different roles.

Why has demand increased?

I certainly don’t need to tell you that there is an increasing compliance burden, lots of finance transformation, and that the tax professional is now expected to be a business partner to operational stakeholders. These changes have been going on for years, and many of you will have experienced this first hand. It is clear that role of tax has changed, and that many functions are too lean to cope with it. Similarly, there have always been too few tax professionals in the market, which goes some way to explaining the 20%+ differential in earning potential for Newly Qualified tax professionals versus their peers in audit. Whilst a lack of available talent and the increasing demand for these professionals has had a typical supply versus demand impact on compensation, there are three key areas that have turbocharged earning potential.

The biggest drivers of demand have been:


The uncertainty of Covid and the lockdown period ensured many Heads of Tax stayed in roles that they would have otherwise left. With the economic future so bleak, candidates looked to benefit from the employment rights of longer service. Then with the end of lockdowns, candidate confidence increased materially and we saw pent up demand for a move spill over. We also saw an increase in retirements. This resulted in ‘churn’ in the market, with roles becoming available after the departure of a long serving Head of Tax.

“In fact, we saw roughly 10% more moves in the FTSE during 2021 and in to 2022 than we would normally see.”

Private Equity

The volume of deals funded by private equity money has also proved instrumental. There have been a host of carve outs from existing groups, with a need to build new tax teams for the departing business as it looks to stand on its own. The remuneration levels of these roles are also very competitive, with an eye on a future event giving the potential to earn significant amounts from share awards. The anticipated value of these options is being considered before a prospective move, and is increasing wage expectations amongst the candidate community.

Organic Growth

Finally, we have seen a host of businesses make the decision to hire their first time Head of Tax. As the economy has spiked, so too have the amount of groups whose growth ambitions have increased the level of tax risk that they are exposed to.

All of this has had a significant impact on remuneration and how it is structured.


  • Professional Services

M&A Tax Senior Manager – Credit Funds Specialist

Our client is a leading global professional services firm, and we are currently seeking a highly qualified and experienced professional to join their very well respected Big 4 Tax M&A team. With a commitment to excellence and innovation, they provide unparalleled opportunities for growth and development in a dynamic and collaborative environment. Position Overview: We […]
  • Salary GBP90000 – GBP120000 per annum + bonus, pension and benefits
  • Posted Posted 2 hours ago
  • Professional Services

VAT Assistant Manager – Inhouse

**Indirect Tax Assistant Manager – Inhouse** My client a leading financial advisory firm is looking for a VAT Assistant Manager to join their in-house Tax team in London on a Hybrid basis. As an Indirect Tax Assistant Manager, you will contribute by overseeing all matters related to indirect taxes. This role is an ideal opportunity […]
  • Salary GBP65000 – GBP70000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 2 hours ago
  • Commerce and Industry

Interim Tax Accountant

This is an excellent opportunity for an Interim Tax Accountant to join this well established tax team on a temporary basis. The position will be based in London and will accomodate a candidate who can start immediately or at short notice. The role will entail support with the year end. Key things will be: – […]
  • Salary GBP350 – GBP450 per day
  • Posted Posted 1 day ago

Tax Manager

Responsibilities Advise management of tax implications and tax compliance affecting the Company’s businesses. Lead, guide, and mentor tax team encouraging growth and learning. Review monthly/quarterly compliance filings for approximately 20 States, ensuring on time submission and payments. Prepare annual registrations, deposits, and related filings. Prepare annual property tax renditions and filings. Liaise and manage outside […]
  • Salary USD120000 – USD170000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 1 day ago
  • Commerce and Industry

Tax Manager – Real Estate

I am exclusively working with a FTSE-listed Real Estate Group to search for an Advisory Tax Manager to join the team in central London. This tax job is paying up to £95,000 plus car allowance and bonus. In this role, you will work closely with the Head of Tax and your fellow Tax Managers on […]
  • Salary GBP85000 – GBP95000 per annum + Car allowance and bonus
  • Posted Posted 2 days ago

Featured Content