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Demand for tax specialists up by 40%

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Increasingly complex tax rules are creating a surge in vacancies for tax trained specialists across the UK with demand up 40% this year

Vacancies in personal tax have seen the greatest surge, with a five fold increase in the monthly average compared to 2023, making it the fastest-growing area being recruited for.

This is followed by indirect tax, with an overall increase of 72%. Corporate tax remains the largest specialist area, with a 65% uplift from last year.

London remains the largest area for vacancies overall, while there has been a growing talent squeeze in the southwest of England, according to the UK Finance Labour Market Trends report by Morgan McKinley and Vacancysoft.

Tom Wood, senior manager at Morgan McKinley said: ‘In today’s tax market, demand for tax professionals remains robust across all levels.

‘Boutiques led by former practice partners are gaining significant market share by utilising their networks to attract top talent.

‘Notably, the big four firms are adapting compliance offerings to meet evolving client needs.

‘Overall, there is a demand for experienced leadership in professional services firms underscoring the need for seasoned professionals to navigate complex issues. In the short term, work will spike as people look to adjust to the upcoming legislation changes.’

The Big Four continued to see large increases in tax vacancies in Q1.

When ranking organisations, PwC led the way, with 80 advertised tax vacancies in Q1, which was higher than the total for 2023.

EY took second place recording an increase of 80%, while Deloitte had significantly smaller volumes.

Outside of the Big Four, PKF Francis Clark has posted 50 tax vacancies so far this year compared to 80 across the whole of 2023. BDO was looking for 33 tax specialists, followed by Evelyn Partners with 27 vacancies. Fortis Mazars has posted 21 tax vacancies so far this year compared to 22 across the whole of 2023.

Outside of the accountancy sector, JP Morgan was the leading recruiter with nine advertised tax vacancies so far this year.

A potential change of government is also likely to drive demand for tax specialists with Labour in particular planning a number of significant tax changes, including VAT on private school fees, changes to non-dom rules over and above current Conservative plans outlined at the Budget, and private equity rules on carried interest affecting earnings.

By Sara White Accountancy Daily 14th June 2024