A career in tax
“In this life, nothing is certain except death & taxes”.
This famous quote about taxes originates from the 1700’s, it is commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin but can be found in works dating back as far as 1716. Regardless of who wrote it, it still rings true to this day.
Tax is an essential part of life, it funds our societies, and it’s vital for sustainable economic growth. Tax pays for public goods and services like education, health care, the welfare system, roads, housing & defence amongst others, and the way taxes are raised and spent can determine a government’s legitimacy.
A career in tax in the UK typically involves working in the field of taxation, either as a tax advisor, accountant, or consultant. The role of a tax professional in the UK can vary depending on the specific career path and the type of organisation they work for. Here are some common aspects and responsibilities of a career in tax in the UK:
Tax professionals help individuals and businesses comply with tax laws and regulations by preparing and filing tax returns. This may include income tax, corporate tax, VAT (Value Added Tax), and other forms of taxation.
Tax advisors assist clients in minimizing their tax liability within the bounds of the law. This involves strategic financial planning and advising clients on how to structure their finances to take advantage of tax benefits and incentives.
Tax Advisory Services:
Tax consultants and advisors provide guidance to clients on various tax-related matters. They may offer advice on tax-efficient investments, estate planning, and international tax issues, among others.
Tax Compliance and Reporting:
Tax accountants work with businesses to ensure that financial statements are prepared in accordance with tax laws. They may also be involved in auditing and ensuring that a company's financial records are accurate for tax purposes.
Research and Analysis:
Tax professionals need to stay up-to-date with changing tax legislation, regulations, and case law. They research and analyse complex tax issues to provide clients with informed guidance.
Effective communication is a key part of the job. Tax professionals must explain tax implications, provide recommendations, and interact with clients, government authorities, and colleagues.
Tax Investigation Support:
Tax professionals may assist clients in the event of a tax investigation, helping to gather information, respond to inquiries, and navigate the process.
Compliance with International Tax Laws:
For multinational corporations and individuals, navigating international tax regulations is essential. Tax professionals may specialize in international taxation, transfer pricing, and cross-border tax planning.
Given the ever-evolving tax landscape, tax professionals must engage in continuous learning and professional development to keep their knowledge and skills current.
You will have a wide variety of work to cover and you will do this whilst studying for a professional qualification. The ICAEW (The Institute of chartered Accountants in England & Wales) offers an excellent joint programme with the CIOT (Chartered Institute of Tax) The ACA CTA programme means you can train to become a chartered accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser at the same time. (The joint route means you won’t study the same subjects twice and will qualify more quickly)
You can also study for the ATT (Association of Taxation Technicians) or the joint ATT/CTA Qualification. https://www.att.org.uk/
Career opportunities in tax exist will be predominantly in accounting firms, however law firms, multinational corporations, and government agencies also offer career paths. You can also work as an independent consultant. The demand for tax professionals remains steady due to the complexity of tax laws and the need for individuals and businesses to optimise their tax positions while remaining compliant with the law.
Starting off as a trainee tax assistant will earn you a salary of approx. £18,000 - £24,000.
Once you have a few years’ experience under your belt, and can work independently, that range will increase to £25,000 - £35,000.
As an ATT qualified tax advisor, anywhere between £28,000 – £38,000
Senior chartered tax advisors can earn anywhere from £60,000 upwards and will often become partners at the firms they work for, taking equity/stock options.
Below is a table of average salaries for the various levels in Tax (the higher end of the salaries are usually found in London)
£85,000 TO £2.5m
£75,000 TO £200,000
£60,000 TO £100,000
£45,000 TO £75,000
£40,000 TO £55,000
£32,000 TO £45,000
£18,000 TO £27,000