The issue of tax for a company of any size can be rather taxing (apologies…) to say the least! Tax consulting is all about providing accurate information and expertise to business clients in a whole manner of different industries on all issues concerning their tax obligations, processes and compliance considerations.
Companies look to build tax strategies which ensure that they meet compliance standards and practice – and are also cost-effective plans. If they have offices spread across countries all over the world then the web gets thicker and much more intricate, as different countries have different tax laws and obligations.
What could I do in tax consulting?
A tax consultant’s remit can spread across a large number of different areas, for example employment tax planning, analysis of a company’s tax accounting processes, making suggestions for improvements in those processes and/or supervision of their restructuring, international tax compliance and international transaction and mitigation of tax risk (the impact of rising taxes on the appeal of investments) and reduction of tax risk profiles with HMRC to keep the company in the good books.
The research and advice tax consultants provide supports the client’s overall business decisions and strategy, so it’s very important that it’s accurate, up to date, and takes into account any commercial issues.
Eagle eyes and an international perspective
These professionals have to be great problem solvers with an eye for detail (tax law can get very complicated) and they have able to provide flexible solutions. A strong ability with numbers is also crucial! They often also possess strong knowledge of tax law, not only in the UK but also in other countries (or else be able to carry out the appropriate research on foreign tax laws). As they often work on-site with the client, excellent communication and relationship building skills are vital.
School leavers and graduates in this area will work as part of a consulting team, usually starting off by carrying out research tasks and gaining an in-depth understanding of how tax works before progressing to more and more client contact. It’s not unusual to have a lot of responsibility at an early stage!
Professional services firms and specialist tax consultancies are the main employers of tax consultants; the Big Four firms are big recruiters in this particular industry. You can usually apply with any degree discipline (or at school leaver level for a school leaver programme, sponsored degree programme or Higher Apprenticeship), but it’s really important that you have an excellent grasp of numbers. Experienced tax consultants often hold Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) status.