Tax strategy and tax personnel in a post-pandemic economy: are you prepared for the future?

Author Amy Thomas
March 7, 2021

In the 2021 Spring Budget, Rishi Sunak extended many of the schemes aimed at helping individuals through the pandemic. It is clear that he intends to honour his manifesto pledges that there will be no increase in personal income taxes, and so the increase in corporation tax from 2023 appears to confirm that businesses will foot the bill for the significant deficit in public spending.

Is the increase in corporation tax the only tax that will affect businesses?  The UK already has a broad base of taxes for corporates (amongst the highest in the G7), so will other taxes also be tweaked in order to add to the public purse?  Further, will the Tax Authorities in the UK and around the world take a more stringent view on audits and on potential “grey” areas of legislation?

We don’t have a crystal ball to know the answers to any of the above, but what companies need to ask themselves is – does my company have the correct tax strategy and tax professionals in place, or do we need to invest in our tax strategy and tax team for the new future?

After the shock and transition of the last 12 months, now is the time to plan, particularly as there is an end in sight from the positive rollout of the vaccination programme.  Businesses, and by this I mean CFO’s, finance directors, and heads of tax, need to take greater stock of their current tax strategy and team and ensure they are covered across all tax disciplines in terms of processes, systems, audit trails and staffing, to be able to better work with the changes and challenges that they will face.

How can Brewer Morris’s tax recruitment team help a business through this process?

Tax strategy – interim support: We are working with highly experienced and senior interim tax professionals who have the skills, knowledge, business acumen and gravitas to analyse a business’s tax strategy and report to the board level on recommendations for change. At a time when pressure on headcount and fixed costs is significant, these senior interims have proven invaluable.

Tax professionals – permanent hires: We have specialist recruiters who focus on each of the specific disciplines of the tax market, resulting in detailed market knowledge and candidate networks. Individual discipline areas include senior appointments, mid-level and junior tax appointments, indirect tax and employment/expatriate taxes. It seems clear that the shape of the tax team will shift over the next 12-18 months, and we are anticipating particular demand in the areas of Tax Compliance, Tax Audits, Transfer Pricing and Indirect Tax.

Tax audits – interim support: A dispute with the Revenue or an overseas tax authority is time-consuming and expensive, when reliant on different advisors.  A cost-effective solution is to contract an interim senior tax professional, who has extensive experience in working through Tax Audits and who is also proficient in negotiation – a non-technical but highly required skill.

How can Brewer Morris’s tax recruitment team help you as a tax professional, in your post-pandemic career?

The role of the head of tax has not been made easier by the pandemic. All of the issues that made the role so challenging 12-18 months ago remain, but with added pressure on expenditure and headcount. This has meant the surging demand we experienced pre-pandemic has been put on hold, rather than discarded altogether, and we are starting to see this demand return. This was initially led by interim requirements as businesses looked to solve short term problems, but is increasingly resulting in permanent vacancies at all levels.

We are aware that many candidates have put their search on hold in an uncertain economic climate; but with a returning optimism, and a clear route out of lockdown, there are some great roles being released. The conversations we are having with CFOs and heads of tax point to an even better Q2-Q3, and so it’s a perfect time to start thinking about your options again.

Meet the team

To discuss the requirements in your team, please contact:

Amy Thomas
Dalia Jennings
Kyle Linzell
Mo Hanslod
Michael Johnson

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