inhousetax.co.uk - Talentpool Selection
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

Recession, Redundancy and Re-hiring.......and tax recruitment

Thursday, 26 June 2008

By Simon Godley

I read an interesting article on a recruiter newsletter this week, which gave some analysis as to how the stock market, the broader economy and the employment market interact, and the time lags between events in these markets. Basically, it suggested that if the stock market crashed, then quite often (not always) this would lead to an economic downturn 6-8 months later. Redundancies may quickly follow this, then as the recession (if it is a recession) runs it course, then it could take a further 2 years before businesses are confidently re-hiring again. This is on the basis that a recession has historically lasted, on average, about a year.

So, this means that from stock market crash to businesses re-hiring would be a minimum time frame of 2.5 to 3 years. The last stock market crash started in March 2000 when the dot com bubble burst - I remember this because I sold some highly inflated priced biotech shares to pay for my now wife's engagement ring in March 2000, which is the only time that I really profited from the stock market. Then there was the downturn (which wasn't called a recession) and then finally re-hiring started to take place at the end of 2003, so almost 4 years. So the last downturn and then recovery took longer than expected.

So what should we expect this time. No-one can really predict with much accuracy. My feeling is that this time we haven't seen a stock market crash, but a burst in the credit bubble. Let's say this started in September 2007. So according to the above theory, the broader economic downturn should be felt May 2008 onwards. This seems to be the case - property prices are falling quickly, inflation is rapidly increasing, and some businesses have stopped hiring. There have been some redundancies in pockets of the labour market, but not (yet) in the tax market. This will undoubtedly happen, and let's see what the Big Four do over the next 6 months. Thus the prediction from now (June 2008), following the above theory, is that a recession will run its course over the next c.1 year, but the re-hiring won't start until March 2010, and this is being optimistic. It could be into 2011 when firms feel they are understaffed again.

2009 could be an interesting year for recruiters! Watch this space.

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posted by Simon Godley
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ACCA calls for the term 'Accountant' to be protected

Friday, 20 June 2008

The ACCA are calling for the term ‘accountant’ to be legally defined and protected.

There is an increasing number of cases where people have been given poor advice by individuals claiming to be qualified accountants, when they have little or no professional training or qualifications. ACCA believe that introducing protection for the term ‘accountant’ is in the best interests of all, as it is both unfair and contrary to public interest to have unregulated, possibly untrained and uninsured individuals presenting themselves as accountants.

This will also presumably include the title Tax Accountant, and the expression 'qualified by experience' will hold very little value if all this goes through.

There’s a Downing Street online petition, started by ACCA member Alan Shooter FCCA, that people can sign.

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posted by Simon Godley
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Tax Jobs - Weekly Highlights

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Despite the reported troubles that the banking sector is experiencing at the moment, it certainly hasn't stopped them looking for tax executives for in-house roles when the need arises. This week I have heard of a couple of senior level EMEA type tax roles being recruited for, which backs up my view that in-house tax roles are generally safe during a down market, unless they are supporting a business or sector which is very exposed to the specific credit crises.

Here is a role which I am currently working on with a major UK bank:

Tax Projects Manager - London
£75,000 - £80,000 + Bonus + Bens
Click here for more details

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posted by Simon Godley
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IRIS acquires tax software company

Friday, 6 June 2008

Source: AccountancyAge.com

Product and software developer IRIS has acquired Drummohr Technology, the makers of 'Tax Assistant', for an undisclosed sum.

So far, IRIS has announced that there are no plans to merge the two companies' range of products, but will include a strategy of sustained investment and introduction of new products where appropriate.

Martin Leuw, CEO of IRIS, said: 'By adding the Tax Assistant software to the IRIS range, we are able to offer an unparalleled wealth of knowledge and experience of this specialist sector.’

In a statement Drummohr Technology said: 'IRIS' goal (is) to revolutionise the accountancy profession with a range of quality solutions to suit every size and type of practice'.

SG comment: This year so far has seen a good level of consolidation in the tax software market. The above seems a relatively small acquisition, but earlier in the year we have seen Thomson Corporation acquire CrossBorder solution, for their transfer pricing and tax accounting software products. We have also seen the accounting & tax software arm of MYOB in the UK/Ireland be acquired by Wolters Kluwer, which is the home of CCH Software.

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posted by Simon Godley
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Tesco faces new tax questions - but why?

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Source: AccountancyAge.com

Tesco is facing new allegations that it set up complex structures to avoid corporation tax.

The magazine Private Eye last week published claims that Tesco had set up a financing arm in the Swiss canton of Zug.

The arm helps finance the supermarket's international business. Tax is paid on the interest on the loans it provides at a lower rate in Zug than it would be in the UK, saving Tesco £16m, the magazine said.

Tesco was quoted saying: 'This partnership is used to fund our overseas business. It is common practice for global businesses operating in other markets to fund development in similar ways. We have an open relationship with HMRC and discuss our tax arrangements and planning with them on an ongoing basis. We believe this structure is compliant with the government's controlled foreign companies legislation.'

Tesco is suing The Guardian over reports in that paper that it had avoided up to £1bn in corporation tax through a Cayman Islands structure.

SG comment: I think it very unwise for high profile publications to make allegations about Tesco's tax position. Let's look at the facts - Tesco is a multi-billion and now very international business - because of this, it employs some very bright in-house tax professionals to devise overseas structures that will mitigate the group's tax liability, all of which has to be agreed with UK HMRC. Everyone's a winner - the UK is a winner for having a fantastic and entrepreneurial employer. At the end of the day, Tesco is a commercial enterprise that will look to increase shareholder value, it is not set up to donate corporate tax to the UK treasury. The UK treasury should be thinking of ways to simplify the UK tax rules for companies, thereby stopping them from considering relocating their tax residency elsewhere. I think the Guardian are now paying the price for trying (and failing) to understand Tesco's tax position.

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posted by Simon Godley
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