Head of Tax – Real Estate

  • Permanent
  • London
  • 25% bonus + Shares USD / Year

The role is currently stand-alone, with support from UK and overseas tax advisers where required. UK tax compliance is undertaken in-house, with the possibility to engage a tax contractor to assist with preparing and submitting the UK tax returns for part of the year. Overseas tax returns are prepared by local tax advisers and managed by local financial controllers. The role is predominantly focussed on UK corporate tax (and the UK REIT regime), but a good knowledge of VAT as it applies to UK real estate would be required, together with the ability to support the German and French financial controllers on local tax matters when necessary. There is occasional travel to Germany, France and Luxembourg.
As Head of Tax, the candidate will be responsible for the following:

Core responsibilities:

1. Tax Advisory
* Responsible for day-to-day tax advice (CT, VAT, SDLT etc.) on property transactions, including new tenant leases, lease variations and terminations, tenant fit outs and building refurbishments, rights to light claims etc (mostly in the UK but sometimes also overseas)
* Tax support to the business in relation to M&A activity, mainly for asset and SPV acquisitions and disposals, including tax due diligence, review and negotiation of SPAs and associated tax warranties and indemnities (with support from tax advisers where appropriate) and associated debt/equity structuring (both UK and overseas)
* Preparation of tax reports for quarterly plc board meetings and ad hoc updates for senior management following the UK budget and other key tax announcements, with attendance at plc board meetings and audit committees when required
* Support the business on ad hoc operational tax queries across the group, including HR/payroll/P11D & PSA matters, Construction Industry Scheme and similar overseas taxes


2. Strategic Tax Matters
* Responsible for the annual review of tax processes and controls for the UK Senior Accounting Officer certification and associated UK Tax Strategy publication, including preparation of the annual review report and certificate for sign off by the CFO
* Maintenance and enhancement of the group’s processes around the corporate offence of the failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion
* Responsible, in conjunction with the company secretary, for regular reviews of the group structure, including supporting liquidations/strike-offs, maintaining and strengthening the group’s offshore holding structure, managing company migrations, etc
* Monitor UK and overseas tax changes and, as a BPF REIT tax committee member, attend quarterly meetings and provide input into tax consultations and BPF industry responses when appropriate. Monitor and review the Group’s tax strategy, adjusting as appropriate
* With support from treasury and finance colleagues, maintain and enhance the group’s transfer pricing methodology and corporate interest restriction position
* Manage the group’s capital allowances position with support from external advisers on larger capital projects


3. UK Group REIT and Corporation Tax Compliance
* Responsible for UK REIT compliance, including submission of REIT financial statements, maintenance and submission of PID tracker and associated schedules
* Monitor compliance with the REIT conditions, including PID requirements, close company rules and other financial ratios. Ensure efficient Corporate Interest Restriction structuring
* Manage, in conjunction with senior management, the group’s dividend policy (PID, non-PID split), including preparation of CT61s and payments of PID withholding tax to HMRC
* Maintain and further enhance the relationship with the HMRC REIT team and CCM, aiming to maintain the group’s Low-Risk status
* Responsible for preparing, reviewing and submitting all corporation tax computations and returns for the residual business. Dealing with responses to HMRC enquiries and information requests
* Prepare and submit group relief claims and the annual group payment arrangement
* Manage the quarterly UK tax instalment process, including calculation of tax payments and preparation of internal payment requests


4. Tax Reporting and Forecasting
* Responsible for preparing tax calculations and associated tax notes and disclosures for the group’s annual and interim reports, with support from overseas financial controllers in relation to overseas tax. Preparation of a group tax memo as part of the reporting pack for auditors
* Responsible for the preparation of tax calculations and associated tax notes and disclosures for approximately 70 sets of UK statutory accounts
* Work with the Head of Group FP&A on the tax figures required for quarterly forecasting and the annual budgeting process


Essential candidate credentials
* Qualified ACA and/or CTA with a minimum of 5 years post-qualification experience
* From a real estate tax background, ideally including good technical knowledge of UK REITs and property VAT issues
* Ability to understand complex tax issues and communicate the same to non-tax colleagues in a clear and concise manner
* Self-motivated team player with a diligent and detailed approach
* Strong problem-solving skills with the ability to gain the confidence of senior management
* Good communication skills, including report writing and presenting to staff, senior management and the board of directors

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