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Let's Talk Tax

21 May 2018

Robert Patterson

Robert Patterson, Senior Recruitment Consultant within Brightwater’s Public Practice and Taxation division recently attended the Irish Tax Institute Annual Conference, he shares his thoughts on the many talking points of the conference and the future of the tax profession in Ireland.

It was great to be in attendance at the Annual Tax Conference last month in the Galmont Hotel, Galway. The tax conference, aimed at members in practice, had an exceptional line-up of speakers providing insightful and informative market developments affecting the domestic tax scene in Ireland.

Among the first speakers at the conference, John Heffernan, of EY discussed the importance of succession planning within the family business and how to not end up losing 70% of the exit proceeds. Clare McGuiness of RDJ covered all aspects of revenue interactions, before Darragh Duane of PwC reminded us of the relevance of stamp duty within property structuring, business reorganisation and Private Client considerations.

We had an interesting panel discussion on Brexit, its impact on the domestic tax scene and how best to support clients. The opinion of the panelists, which seemed to be echoed by our many clients, was the amount of opportunity that will be created here in Ireland. After speaking with Neil Squires of Squires Gilbride - he concurred and is already seeing the influx of international work in his own business as a result of Brexit. At Brightwater, we are seeing an increased job flow as a result which is promising particularly at the newly qualified level.

Cian Liddy of KPMG gave an interesting presentation covering the major changes within corporation tax and their impact on SMEs in Ireland whilst Pat O’Brien of EY gave us a recap on the PAYE Modernisation go live in 2019. We have seen an increase in demand for corporate tax professionals, in Brightwater’s tax division we are recruiting for 30% more jobs in this area compared to 2017, with opportunities in both practice and industry.

There was a further panel discussion on the future of tax, the effects of digital disruption, automisation and questions on how AI might impact on the tax profession. What stood out were the potential skills sets that tax consultants of the future would need. Tax technical knowledge coupled with a savvy understanding of all things digital is the future. But despite the evolving digitalisation of the industry, the need for excellent communication, numerical and commercial awareness will always be at the top of the requirements needed. Amongst our clients, we are noticing the emphasis is not only on sound technical backgrounds and strong academics but also, time management, attention to detail and ability to adapt as the landscape is continuing to change and evolve with geo political and technological advancements.

The conference concluded with talks from Nicola Flannery and Jacky Fox of Deloitte, covering GDPR the risks on data and cyber incidents affecting the CTAs. We also had an informative presentation on VAT from Gabrielle Dillon of Dermot O’Brien Associates.

All in all a very interesting conference over the two days – the future is bright for tax professionals and anyone aspiring to get into the profession! From a recruitment stand point the market is strong across all areas of practice – we have a number of opportunities from trainee level to director level both in practice and industry.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with myself, Robert Patterson and my colleague Simon Morris in our Dublin office on 01 662 1000 – we would be happy to discuss the next step in your career or if you have any recruitment requirements.