During my final year at university, I researched various graduate schemes and potential employers before applying for HMRC’s Tax Specialist Programme. What made the programme stand out from the rest is how quickly you are given real responsibility in your training, and the fact that after successful completion of the programme you are promoted to a leadership role of Grade 7. This rapid career progression, alongside an attractive benefits package and top quality training on both technical knowledge and professional skills this graduate scheme really appealed to me.
Although I have only been on the programme a short time, I am already involved in several different projects across the different areas of tax within HMRC. The type of work I am currently involved in ranges from a compliance check into the income tax self-assessment of a sole trader, to helping out more senior colleagues on complex corporation tax cases.
Something I love about HMRC is that no two days are ever the same and the work you are involved in is very diverse. From the get-go you are helping more experienced colleagues with aspects of their current cases, as well as being given your own case within a few weeks, attending extremely interesting and relevant workshops and tutorials, and managing your allocated study time. You are responsible for managing your own workload, so you can arrange your week to suit yourself and decide what you want to work on and when, as long as you meet any deadlines in place and keep on top of the work.
Something that surprised me about HMRC is how friendly, welcoming and helpful everyone is. Tax inspectors/workers seem to have a reputation for being older, men in suits, but nothing could be further from the truth. My office has a very warm and friendly atmosphere and everyone is very approachable and keen to help you in any way they can. This is true right up to the senior levels.
My manager is fantastic and extremely knowledgeable and is always willing to give help and advice whenever needed. I have found that a lot of the senior staff in the office have also completed the Tax Specialist Programme so can relate with your experience and give very useful advice. From early on in the programme you are given the opportunity to mix with a wide variety of people from different teams in both a professional and social capacity, which ensures you have a wide pool of people you are comfortable approaching for any queries you may have.
I think this is an exciting time to join HMRC as it is currently in the process of the biggest modernisation of the UK tax system in a generation. We have also launched the Locations Programme, which is the largest office transformation programme in the UK, and will move into 13 modern regional offices, which will allow for more flexible ways of working increased use of technology.
The Tax Specialist Programme is a fantastic opportunity to springboard your career into a major government department with serious responsibilities. I would highly recommend anyone thinking of applying to do so.