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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

Tax Technology advice for large companies

Saturday, 27 June 2009

There is a very good summary article that I noticed on the current situation on tax technology as it is affecting large businesses, now and in the future. It has been written for by Michelle Quest and Bivek Sharma, both Tax Partners at KPMG.

This article is applicable to all UK Heads of Tax and CFOs. Read it by clicking here

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posted by Simon Godley

More Big 4 tax appointments from in-house market

Friday, 26 June 2009

Source: Tax Careers

There are new faces in KPMG's tax practice following the appointment of Angus Wilson and Darren Mellor-Clark as Tax Partners.

Wilson, former European Head of Tax and acting European CFO at Babcock & Brown, joins the firm's infrastructure tax group.

Mellor-Clark, who was global lead for VAT and Sales taxes at UBS, joins KPMG's financial services practice as an Associate Partner.

Caitriona Hunt, joint head of corporate tax and head of the business services tax practice at KPMG in the UK, said: "These are important, strategic hires to our business. Our practice is enjoying strong growth in key areas, and these appointments will significantly enhance our capabilities in these parts of the tax practice"

SG comment: Within the last 12 months, there has been a spate of senior in-house tax professionals, particularly from banks, making the move to London Big 4 firms at Partner level. Whilst this makes good sense for the tax execs making this sort of career move, I find it quite surprising that the Big 4 have brought so many new Tax Partners given the general business and economic environment. Of course, bringing in senior tax expertise from industry / banking can be very valuable to the Big 4 practice, in that it immediately increases their client network in a particular sector (eg VAT / Funds), and the individuals themselves bring extremely valuable experience from the buyers perspective ie buyer of tax services. The downside, however, is that I sense the (new) Tax Partners coming in have got the enormous task of bringing in high tax fees from what is now a much smaller and increasingly fiercely competitive market. Very strong selling skills I imagine will be the order of the day.

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posted by Simon Godley

KPMG makes further cuts in UK tax practice

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


KPMG plans to cut jobs in its UK tax department in response to the recession and a slump in demand for merger and acquisition-related tax advice.

The UK’s third biggest accounting firm emailed UK staff today to tell them that it needs to cut jobs in its tax and people services department in the UK.

In an email to staff Richard Bennison, chief operating officer at KPMG, told staff it needed to cut the jobs in response to a changing market for tax services.

An industry source said that a couple of hundred jobs could be cut. A spokesman for KPMG confirmed that the firm planned to cut jobs in its UK tax practice, but declined to give a likely figure for job cuts. He said that it was still consulting staff.

Earlier this year, KPMG offered UK staff the chance to do a four-day working week, or take extended unpaid leave, in an effort to avoid redundancies if the economy deteriorated further.

The accountancy profession has been hit by a wave of redundancies over the past year. Firms including Deloitte, Grant Thornton and PKF have announced plans to cut hundreds of jobs in expectation of slower revenue growth this year.

Thousands of redundancies in financial services have cut the amount of advisory work on offer, while merger and acquisition activity has also slowed dramatically.

SG Comment: This appears to be the next phase, effectively 2nd round of heavy cost cutting, from one of the Big 4 firm's tax function. Although in the case of KPMG, their clever tactic was to lose cost and not people in their first round of cuts, by putting people into 4 days per week contracts. From my initial warning note Credit Crunch - Impact on Tax Jobs in Sept 2007, we have now seen a few waves of job cuts in the tax market, the first round with the Big 4 taking place in December 2008. There have been whole teams of tax structuring people (not in-house tax) cut from some of the investment banks, and in-house tax teams across industry / commerce have generally had to make some reductions, although quite small, on average shaving c.5-10% of staff from a tax team. This is a generalism as I think a lot of in-house tax teams have remained the same size, as I predicted back in September 2007. My estimation is that we are now approx 12-15 months away from companies being able to recruit more freely for growth, although I suspect it could take longer as I think that these 'green shoots' that I keep hearing about could be quite classic false dawn.

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posted by Simon Godley

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