Brexit: The Impact on the UK Indirect Tax Job Market

Well, its finally been decided – the UK will be leaving the EU. As the country comes to terms with its decision, it will be fascinating to see how ‘the big change’ has an impact on job creation and indeed job security. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation has this morning called for ‘calm and clarity’ in the face of a ‘challenging period for British business which may have a significant impact on the UK jobs market’. And the prophets of doom are already predicting a tougher job market out there for some time.

However, is this really going to be the case for Indirect Tax professionals? Time will tell of course, but here at BLT we’re bravely going to make a few predictions – lets see if our crystal ball proves right over the course of the next year or so!

Whilst there’s no doubt about it, the uncertainties in the run up to June referendum did indeed have an impact on the volume of Indirect Tax roles arising both in commercial organisations and professional services firms. By and large, the messages coming from many organisations were largely playing for time – ‘lets wait and see’ was a common theme. Now a decision has been reached, that therefore should prompt businesses to make positive decisions about how they handle Indirect Tax going forward – and that in itself should help the job market.

Whilst we’re not pretending its going to be a particularly smooth ride over the course of the next few years, we’re optimistic that the job market won’t be as badly affected as you might think. After all, the Indirect Tax profession tends to thrive on change situations.

So the BLT predictions are as follows:

  • Greater need for coherent VAT advice for businesses, resulting in more calls for the services of professional services firms.
  • More senior advisory roles arising in-house as companies recognise the need to stay ‘on the ball’ about how they handle Indirect Tax strategy globally.
  • A boom in the contract market (particularly at Manager level and below) as companies seek short term resource whilst the lie of the land is established.
  • Greater demand for Customs Duty expertise as free trades agreements are redefined and strategies established.
  • A more fluid and opportunistic job market than before, created in part by a reshuffling of resource and roles/responsibilities globally.

How readily the Indirect Tax population meets these challenges remains to be seen – one rather suspects that candidates’ nerves about moving jobs in uncertain times will be the biggest barrier to success on this front. We’d like to think that courage and an eye for the opportunities that this new world will represent could well yield fantastic results for the savvy Indirect Tax professional.

Lets see!

For career advice on how to get the best out of your Indirect Tax career in the coming years, do get in touch.

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