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About In House Tax

About In House Tax

This weblog is a news and views site for tax professionals within the UK and international in-house tax community.  You will find information about appointments and people moves in and around the in-house tax market, issues affecting the in-house tax professional, opinions on the state of the tax job market, updates on tax technology, and other general thoughts of the day.

Hope you find it useful.

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Location: St Albans, United Kingdom

This site has been developed by Simon Godley, who also runs the niche tax recruitment company Talentpool Selection . Simon spends a lot of his time placing tax specialists into FTSE companies, large in-bound groups and some professional services organisations. He also recruits and is well networked around the UK tax technology and VAT markets.

Tax News

State of the tax job market?.......and let's be honest!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

By Simon Godley

I've just read an article in one of the tax magazines (in a supplement focused on careers) whereby a number of recruiters are asked for their views on the state of the current tax market. The difficulty with such articles is that I'm not sure we are hearing the absolute true facts of what's happening, but merely a collage of comments filled with quite a lot of spin, that merely act as a sort of announcement advert for each of the recruiters' businesses.

For example, when one recruiter was asked about the Big Four firms, the comment was that most of the top 20 firms (let's assume that includes the Big Four) are set to increase head count. The fact is that currently two of the Big Four in London have pretty much put a complete hold on recruiting tax people.

Also, I think to play down what is happening in the London banking sector is not right - I have just come back from a meeting where I have learnt that 40 jobs of c.200 staff in the London office of a bank have just been slashed in the last 2 weeks.

On the subject of what's happening in commerce, one comment is that there is a demand for tax people within the FTSE 100 to grow their team. Again, I don't think this is the case. If you look at the size of a typical FTSE 100 tax department over a 10 year period, unless there has been a major structural change with the company e.g. it has been taken over, or has merged with another group, then the size of the tax department will hardly change. In-house tax departments don't grow in the same respect than, for example, a Big Four middle markets tax team may look to grow. Within a corporate, there is a fairly well defined remit of work that needs to be done, and that work will require a fairly fixed number of tax professionals to do it.

Basically when the broader enonomy has been hit with fears, and we have been recently - Northern Rock, sub-prime lending, rogue traders at Soc Gen to name a few, then the tax job market is not immediately or majorly affected. It is someway down the hit list of areas that are affected, however if this starts to have a major impact on organisations' profitability (particularly the likes of the Big Four) then I'm afraid that no-one is safe.

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posted by Simon Godley


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