What “Trends” can we expect in the “Tax Market” over the coming year…

After all the uncertainty that 2020 brought, the expectation is that 2021 will bring better things and with that more opportunity for tax professionals….

As with other sectors of the job market, the expectation is that the year will start slowly and build as it progresses.  The rollout of the vaccine means that there is light at the end of the tunnel and whilst it will be some time yet before ‘normality’ returns, companies are starting to look forward again and resource planning is one of the key areas of focus.

Who is in Demand?

In line with what we have seen in recent years, the first 3 years post qualification are the years that the majority of people looking to move from practice to industry will make their first move.  There is a greater abundance of industry roles aimed at this level and we expect to see some good activity at this level over the coming months.  With CTA results out recently, many recently qualified professionals will be thinking about the next phase of their careers and planning to ensure they position themselves well for this next phase.

Looking further down the career path, industry experience (together with a Big 4 training background) is usually what is ideally sought for more senior in-house positions.

Remote Working is Here to Stay

With the overnight shift to remote working last year, the working landscape has changed drastically and many changes are here to stay.  We have all seen the online surveys regarding what people would like to see in the longer-term regarding home and office working and the strong preference seems to support a hybrid model from both employees and employers.

The possibility of remote working / a hybrid working model offers advantages to both employers and employees, with more options around lifestyle choices for employees and access to a wider talent pool for employers.

We have seen some of the Big 4 practices successfully attracting talent that they otherwise would have missed through offering greater flexibility.  The ability to work from your ‘beach hut’ on the west coast while advancing your career with a leading Big 4 firm is no longer so far-fetched!  Lots of different options are being considered, including working from regional offices or fully remotely. It has allowed some candidates to enjoy all the benefits and opportunities that a Big 4 can offer together with the ability to save on commute time, house prices and generally allowing more choice.


We expect to see continued strong emphasis on Corporation Tax (often with an international slant) by employers over the coming 12 months.  However, we also expect to see strong demand in certain specialist areas also.

Tax Technology – the world of tax is changing and automation and the use of technology to increase efficiency and mitigate risk is very topical.

Transfer Pricing – this international tax issue is of huge importance to all of our MNC clients and focus on this area continues to increase.

Indirect Taxes – another area where specialist expertise continues to be in demand.  It will be interesting to see if Brexit will result in additional expertise being sought in this area.

Personal Tax Planning – this is a specialism that has grown out in recent years.  Specialist skills in this area are highly sought after.

Advice is at hand 

If you are thinking of a move or would just like to keep abreast of market changes, contact Emer Murphy for a confidential discussion.

Emer trained in tax with KPMG and worked as a tax manager in industry before moving into recruitment in 2006 so has in depth knowledge of the tax market from all angles.