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What is a Head Tax?
The head of taxes is responsible for all tax issues of the company and its subsidiaries. His classic area of responsibility is the preparation of complex tax returns and balance sheets, the examination of the resulting tax assessments and the initiation of tax payments, including the preparation of advance sales tax returns and excise tax returns.
In addition, he creates effective tax strategies – always with a clear view of future developments and taking into account tax policy issues in (multi)national tax law. He benefits from the fact that he knows his company very well from the inside out. He is involved in all planning and strategy processes and advises management and specialists on the tax structure and handling of projects and tasks. For example, he is intensively involved in M&A processes or assesses the tax side of patents, licenses and insurance contracts.
The head of taxes is not only a competent consultant within the company with a direct reporting line to the highest commercial hierarchy level, but also the first point of contact for auditors, tax authorities, customs and auditors or external tax consultants.
In order to enhance his important position in the public image, the head of taxes is given the title “head” in smaller companies even if he does not lead a team. As a rule, however, he leads a team of specialists who are well versed in the complex tax field. He is also responsible for optimizing the tax compliance management system in order to efficiently handle all tax-related activities.
The most important things in 5 seconds
- Education: Business or legal studies
- Starting salary: €60,000
- Top salary: €180,000
- Opportunities for advancement: CFO, Chief Financial Officer, Commercial Manager
What does a head of taxes do?
- Preparation of tax returns and tax balance sheets as well as e-balance sheets; Examination of the resulting tax assessments
- Timely preparation of advance VAT returns and excise tax returns
- payment of taxes
- Ensuring communication with the tax authorities and customs
- Supervision of the audits
- Further development of the tax compliance management system
- Definition and documentation of the transfer prices in coordination with the auditors and external tax consultants
- Development and introduction of effective tax strategies, especially in connection with tax policy issues in multinational tax law
- Further development and optimization of tax processes (based on the existing internal guidelines, which are regularly reviewed and optimized if necessary)
- Tax assessment for patents, licenses, insurance contracts, etc.
- Contact person for all subsidiaries of the company with regard to tax issues
- Leading and developing a team of specialists
How do you become a leader?
- business or legal studies
- alternatively: training as a finance specialist or tax clerkwith further training as a tax specialist
- ideally tax consultant exam
- many years of experience in the field of taxes or tax law of a company or a group
- Solid knowledge of national tax law and, if applicable, international corporate tax law
- Business fluent foreign language skills in companies that are internationally active
- if a team is led: reliable experience in the management of employees
What does a manager earn in taxes?
up to €180,000
In small and medium-sized companies, the average annual salary of a tax manager is around € 60,000 to €180,000; in large companies or corporations with correspondingly extensive competencies and topics, it ranges from €90,000 upwards and can – in rather rare cases – amount to €180,000. In an auditing firm, the head of taxes generally earns significantly less than in a company (in any case less than €100,000 pa). Therefore, despite the usually interesting field of activity, a change to the private sector is usually sought.
As always, length of service, industry and the size of the team also play an important role in determining salary.
What do you expect from the head of taxes?
The head of taxes is characterized by the fact that on the one hand he is uncompromisingly familiar with tax regulations and guidelines, which on the other hand he explores creatively in order to find scope for tax interpretation and to use them in an entrepreneurial way.
He enjoys working with a wide variety of contacts from a wide variety of activities and cultures, depending on the countries in which his company is active. He can adapt to his counterpart depending on the situation – be it official representatives, management or the head of the foreign subsidiary.
He is assertive and persuasive, especially when dealing with people who do not know how to correctly classify the subject of taxes or who are skeptical about it. He remains solution-oriented and drives the concrete implementation of tax goals despite occasional headwinds.
Opportunities for advancement as Head of Taxes
As the Head of Taxes in a smaller company, a move to a larger department, with more employees and an expanded range of skills, can be a fitting career move. Tax management in a group with complex multinational tax issues and a correspondingly demanding environment is also a very attractive option for further development.
With personal and professional suitability, promotion to the highest commercial management position, such as CFO, CFO or commercial manager, is a possible career goal for a leadership-motivated and career-oriented head of taxes.
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