Roles in tax compliance require accounting expertise. Tax accountants who specialise in compliance matters usually focus on either corporate tax (clients will be businesses ranging in size) or personal tax compliance.
A tax compliance analyst has the principal responsibility of making sure the financial information a company or individual submits to HMRC for each tax year – and at any other time when it may be required such as during a tax investigation – is accurate, complete and fully adheres to the tax compliance obligations set out by HMRC, the law, and GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles – the guidelines for practice in the industry).
The analysts will work with their client or employer to obtain all the required information and carry out the necessary calculations (if you’re not strong with numbers then this isn’t the job for you!) before the tax return is submitted. If they spot any discrepancies in the financial information they will report to their manager, and may carry out further work to find out where things have gone wrong.
Further roles in tax compliance
A senior role in this area is usually that of tax compliance manager. Tax compliance managers head a team of tax compliance analysts. They’re usually responsible for acting as the main contact for communication with the clients or partners in a company. They develop and implement strategies based on knowledge of tax compliance regulations, and will also work on tax returns and review both their own calculations and calculations completed by their analyst team.
You could also work for HMRC in tax compliance. Roles in this area might involve working in teams to agree on the application of tax law or liaising with businesses and their tax representatives and lawyers on matters regarding tax compliance.
In-house roles in tax compliance for a company are also common here, where the focus is solely on the employer’s internal and external requirements for tax reporting and accounting processes. This means there are opportunities to work in tax compliance in pretty much any location in the country.
The busiest time of year for tax compliance professionals comes round at the end of the tax year when tax returns must be submitted on time to HMRC. The pressure is on to meet tight internal and external deadlines – and if the role is with a professional services or tax firm then there are likely to be a large amount of clients to cover!
Plenty of room for career progression
You generally need to have a professional qualification to progress up the career ladder in this area. A school leaver programme, Higher Apprenticeship or graduate scheme will usually give you the opportunity to study for one of these qualifications whilst you work, and once qualified you could earn a very good salary – in excess of £70,000 once you reach senior roles.