Newsletter & Market Report


BLT’s Customs & Global Trade Team distribute a quarterly Newsletter with the latest insights on the world of Indirect Tax.

You can see our latest newsletter below along with links to some of our previous ones.

In addition we publish an Indirect Tax Market Report & Salary Survey every two years, available on request, which is packed to the brim with useful information such as:

  • Detailed global salary bandings and bonus trends for both the professional services and in-house markets;
  • Detailed commentary on the UK and international hiring trends;
  • The efforts to address the gender imbalance;
  • The most popular levels of experience for different types of businesses to recruit from;
  • Qualifications, and much, much more.

To request to be added to the Indirect Tax mailing lists, please send an email to, acknowledging agreement to BLT’s Privacy Policy so that we can store your email address on our systems.


Latest Newsletter


July 2021

Dear Subscriber,

Hot off the press headlines: The pandemic crisis has now become much more manageable for business, that’s for sure. The next crisis that faces the Indirect Tax world is finding talent for advisory roles at Manager level and below – the drought has never been more noticeable than it is right now.

On the plus side, the hunger to grow and invest at the more junior grades signifies that professional services firms are looking forward not backwards – there’s evidently enough work around to keep such hires gainfully entertained and where firms can articulate long term career prospects. Similarly some more in-house environments are wanting to increase their advisory resource at the more junior grades in response to a rise in profile of Indirect Tax within their businesses – it’s no longer just about the getting the numbers right; companies are much more alive to looking at more strategic ways to manage their Indirect Tax position by hiring advisory and/or technology talent that they could nurture and develop into more senior roles within their business.

Junior Level Hiring

The main problem is that the universal upsurge in demand for early talent has all happened at the same time! After the uncertainties of 2020 where recruitment was quite understandably not on the top of the agenda, the sudden rush for candidates has meant that the well is now running dry. There’s various reasons for this – the main one being that those who felt comfortable about switching employers during the pandemic have now made their move, and for those that held back, the thinking is to leave it a little while longer. The importance of feeling personally secure is still a factor – as an example, just because facemasks are no longer going to be compulsory in many settings in life, doesn’t mean to say that the majority will stop wearing them.

It will take a while for confidence to come back fully (helped no doubt now that most restrictions are being lifted). In the meantime, companies wanting and needing to recruit at the more junior grades need to work out how to be a contender in such a competitive market – work out your differentiators, move quickly, sell your opportunity appropriately, don’t set too high a bar, and dare we say it, you may need to be prepared to pay over the odds to get people in. For those potential candidates who are contemplating whether their current professional services firm is the right one, or whether you want to move into industry, there is no better time to consider your options, particularly if you are CTA qualified or on your way to being so.

It’s less of a headache to fill UK or European VAT in-house compliance roles (at least in London) – the frequency of these roles is still not back to the levels that they were before the pandemic (or even before Brexit), so the candidate pinch hasn’t been felt quite so much. But what has been noticeable is that compliance salaries have crept up and there’s more candidates in existence at the higher salary grades than at the cheaper end of the spectrum – if you don’t pay above market rate, that will limit the numbers of interested parties.

The biggest challenge for compliance roles in the UK is the much-reported exodus of many Europeans back to their home countries post Brexit and during the pandemic – there’s fewer people with experience of filing in different countries left – and that has helped push salaries up.

Senior Level Hiring

There’s been a couple of impressive hires happening in both practice and in-house at the levels upwards of Senior Manager, but we’re not talking the same volume of opportunity around by any means as for those earlier in their career. Professional services hires that are happening are led more by an individual articulating certain specific career desires in consultation with BLT, and then we design and advise on the best way forward for them to achieve what they’re looking for!

As for in-house, are we quite there yet for most companies to feel absolutely certain about making considerable investments in individual senior hires in VAT and Customs & Global Trade? Not quite, although there are signs that things are easing up a little and there’s been more action this last quarter than there was last year.

The Great Working From Home Debate

It’s the big question. We’ve decided to head back to our Chancery Lane, London office haunts – the collective decision is that we all want to be together in the office a couple of days a week at least. We can’t wait to see each other face to face again quite frankly – it’s much harder to be a team on Teams.

Have a read of Guy’s recent article on the Great Debate…..

What’s on our wishlist right now?

Have a browse of some of the current VAT professional services roles we’re working on here, or if in-house is your thing, here’s a link to some of the current ones.

Or for Customs & Global Trade opportunities click here.

There are hidden gems out there that we choose not to advertise – just let us know if there’s something specific you would want us to keep an eye out for.

And finally…

Well done Gareth and the boys – you did England proud.

Have a great summer everyone

All the best

BLT’s Indirect Tax Team

Guy Barrand & Emma Wade


Previous Newsletters

March 2021 – Newsletter

November 2020 – Newsletter

April 2020 – Newsletter

November 2019 – Newsletter

May 2019 – Newsletter

February 2019 – Newsletter

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