Direct Tax

EY - Graduate - Direct Tax
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Our tax professionals help businesses in the UK meet complex demands for tax reporting, compliance, planning and tax controversy. Our clients look to us to help create value, and achieve sustainable outcomes which support their business agenda by ensuring a responsible approach to the planning and management of their taxes. You’ll work with clients ranging from inspiring entrepreneurs to long-established worldwide organisations, acquiring broad, deep tax and business skills to advance your career.

What will my day be like in Direct Tax?

In Direct Tax we help clients fulfil their tax obligations, taking into account the prospect of change. We work with organisations and individuals to structure transactions and operations in a tax-effective manner, mitigate tax risk and comply effectively with tax laws. From day one you can be working on projects varying from tax compliance to advising on the tax-structuring and transfer-pricing implications of UK and international operations.

During the course of your training contract you’ll be given the opportunity to undertake a broad range of planned experiences across the various areas of Direct Tax. You’ll develop your tax technical, relationship building and leadership skills through assignments, specific projects and client work. Working in Direct Tax will provide you with specific and measured experiences across the various areas of our practice:

  • Business Tax Services
  • Transaction Tax
  • International Tax
  • Transfer Pricing

What training and development will I receive in my first few years?

Our Direct Tax Graduate Programme combines on-the-job experience with studying for professional qualifications and personal excellence training.

It’s intensive. Over the first three years you’ll undergo ongoing coaching, mentoring and partner work-shadowing.

During your first three years you will be provided with a development path setting out the planned experiences you will undertake in these areas which is designed to accelerate your professional growth within Direct Tax.

You’ll be working towards a qualification with either the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, or the Institute of Accountants of England and Wales, with the option of also studying for Chartered Tax Advisor status. 

What opportunities would Direct Tax open up?

By the beginning of year four you'll be a Chartered Accountant. You'll have worked in various areas of Direct Tax and will know where you want to specialise.

You can:

  • Use your technical knowledge to lead an engagement team in providing best-in-class tax advice for your client;
  • Take responsibility for leading a client's account and coordinate teams to bring the right tax services to it;
  • Focus your knowledge and skills on a particular industry or aspect of tax and develop your reputation in that field;
  • Go on secondment in our global practice to expand your global tax and industry knowledge.

And, if you are one of our top performers, you'll be fast-tracked to manager within five years of joining the firm.

What are my options when I apply?

You can start your Direct Tax career anywhere in the UK. The location you select will determine which of our client groups you join. You can choose to either specialise and work with our Financial Services clients, or work with a broader portfolio of clients across various industry sectors in our UK & Ireland practice.

The entry requirements for Direct Tax are:

  • Grade B or above for GCSE Mathematics and English Language (or equivalent);
  • At least 300 (24) UCAS points (excluding General Studies and re-sits);
  • A 2.1 degree.

Please note: in exceptional circumstances we will accept applications from candidates who do not meet our academic requirements. If this is your case, you will need to provide strong justification for why we should consider your application. You will also need to provide documentary evidence of any mitigating circumstances.

The above entry requirements are not applicable for our Schools Programmes.


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