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2017 Tax Salary Survey Guide

2017 Tax Salary Survey Guide

Submitted by global_admin on Fri, 02/24/2017 - 07:01
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Welcome to the Morgan McKinley 2017 Tax Salary Survey Guide

View our most up-to-date Tax Salary Guide.


Permanent - London

Basic Salary (£ Per Annum)

Role Part Qualified 0-2 Years Newly Qualified 3-4 Years Manager 5-7 Years Senior Manager 8-10 Years Director/Partner 10+ Years
Corporate Tax 26,000-34,000 40,000-55,000 55,000-70,000 70,000-110,000 120,000+
Operations Tax 28,000-35,000 35,000-48,000 50,000-67,000 70,000-100,000 120,000+
VAT 25,000-34,000 35,000-48,000 50,000-65,000 70,000-105,000 115,000+
Transfer Pricing 26,000-35,000 35,000-48,000 50,000-64,000 70,000-100,000 115,000+
Personal Tax 24,000-34,000 35,000-46,000 50,000-64,000 70,000-100,000 115,000+
Human Capital Tax 28,000-34,000 35,000-50,000 52,000-65,000 70,000-105,000 110,000+

Temporary - London

Basic Salary (£ Per Day)

Role Part Qualified 0-2 Years Newly Qualified 3-4 Years Manager 5-7 Years Senior Manager 8-10 Years Director/Partner 10+ Years
Corporate Tax 120-250 250-350 350-500 450-650 650+
Operations Tax 120-200 200-300 350-450 450-550 550+
VAT 120-250 250-350 350-500 450-600 600+
Transfer Pricing 120-250 250-350 350-500 450-600 550+
Personal Tax 120-200 200-300 350-450 450-550 550+
Human Capital Tax 120-200 200-300 350-450 450-550 550+

Commentary on Tax Roles and Remuneration in UK for 2017


Tax continues to be a key part of operational strategy for all organisations, particularly those with an international profile, and there remains healthy competition for top talent. However, the increasing trend towards outsourcing, offshoring and automation models has allowed tax departments to streamline in spite of new legislation and regulation. With routine and process-orientated work often outsourced, the existing teams have been allowed to focus on more value-added work, and there have only been a handful of instances where departments have noticeably grown in size.

As a whole salaries have remained flat and senior level candidates have had to be particularly flexible - those out of work often having to accept a drop on their previous package - due to lower job flow and increased competition. Generally, candidates will expect to receive a 10% increase upon changing roles. In some instances, however, there have been notable salary hikes driven by niche skill sets and candidate shortages at certain levels of experience. For example, we saw a corporate tax assistant manager from a mid tier firm secure a 30% salary increase upon joining a multinational bank. 

Positive & Negative News

The market within the Big 4 had started to slow down well in advance of Brexit, with the referendum result putting a number of live vacancies under greater scrutiny. In the months following the decision to leave the European Union, a number of roles were pulled or put on hold. The final weeks of 2016 also saw one of the Big 4 make a number of redundancies and another offer several hundred staff, across all service lines, voluntary severance packages. Similarly, some of the larger banks opted to outsource tax compliance to the Big 4 and have subsequently reduced numbers in their existing tax functions.

Whilst the Big 4 firms tax offerings have struggled this year, the polar opposite can be said for the mid-tier market which has continued to go from strength to strength. It is fair to say that the majority of firms outside of the Big 4 have been growing and bolstering their tax teams, with this trend looking set to continue well into 2017.
The challenging environment that the Big 4 has faced this year is of course, in part, down to market conditions. However, it is also to do with the speed at which the tax landscape is changing and the way compliance is executed.  This looks to continue into 2017 as more and more work is offshored and we move towards the full automation of tax returns.

Qualities & Skills In Demand

Specialist and niche skill sets are still in demand as companies look for new revenue streams. Candidates with analytics experience and/or strong technology skills have been required throughout 2016. The rise in tax technologists looks set to continue and candidates looking to diversify or futureproof their careers should take every opportunity that they can to get involved with their tax teams technology offerings, particularly if they do not enjoy or have a natural ability to business develop.

Unsurprisingly, due to the continued rise of offshoring process work, in-house tax teams have mirrored the Big 4 this year in terms of becoming leaner and more focused on what consulting value they can add to the business. This has therefore, led to a greater focus on hiring candidates who can effectively partner with the business and manage numerous stakeholders. The in-house market has seen growth this year mainly outside of the more established tax functions, where companies have sought to bring tax in-house for the first time or, in the notable case of one large multinational company, take advantage of market conditions to set up a global centre of excellence in the UK.  

Outside of Work

The ACA and CTA generally remain the most ubiquitous and recognised qualifications in tax. Those candidates working in niche / specialist areas may want to consider specific qualifications such as the ADIT, Enrolled Agent (EA) or STEP. In a competitive market, furthering your qualifications is never going to harm your promotion or pay rise prospects. Additionally, candidates need to upskill themselves in the latest tax technologies as this will continue to grow in importance as processes are increasingly automated.

Notable Trends

Diversity is increasingly taking centre stage in recruitment and strategy for many businesses across the UK. This is not merely lip service; for many of our clients this is the single, most important focus in their hiring strategy going into 2017 with many setting targets for the diversity of their workforce and leadership teams to be achieved by 2020.

Newly qualified candidates remain simultaneously the most elusive and the most in demand. We have seen the Big 4 hire candidates with profiles they may not have even considered for interview as recently as a few years ago, and we have seen multiple examples of large corporations hiring candidates for permanent positions on the (two-year) Tier 5 Visa having exhausted their options (or patience) in searching for a UK trained equivalent.

The fact that so many companies are showing willingness to pursue this option demonstrates the shortage of UK trained candidates emerging from training contracts. Employers are changing their methods and overall ability to invest in the training of bright and capable non-UK trained candidates and perhaps these are the first signs of a shifting perception in what constitutes a reasonable period of time for a permanent Generation Y hire to stay in a role.

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