Brenda Hu, Manager, gives us an insight into her daily role and shares her personal views on the future of global mobility.
How long have you been working in tax and how did you get into Global Mobility?
I started working in tax after I graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MEng in Chemical Engineering. I have been working tax year for 7 years. Although my degree has nothing to do with tax, the problem-solving skills I learned have been very helpful for my career.
I joined PKF in February 2020 (just before the Covid lockdown!). Before that, I worked in a Big 4 firm for about 5 years. I knew little about Global Mobility when I applied for the graduate program at the Big 4. I chose Global Mobility over Corporate Tax or VAT because working with both employers and employees sounded more interesting.
What is your favourite thing about working in the Human Capital team at PKF?
What I like the most about PKF is the type of work that I undertake and the culture. The work is much less repetitive than in a larger firm and this means I get a much broader experience rather than specialising in a narrow field. I have worked with different clients on a variety of tasks from day one.
PKF offers a great work-life balance and culture which encourages you to reflect the firm’s values. Everyone is super friendly, and the team and firm really help me develop both technically and on soft skills. The firm is also very inclusive and diverse. We celebrate various holidays from different cultures throughout the year. For example I had the opportunity to speak and educate the firm about my hometown during our diversity and inclusion week.
What does your role entail day to day?
Every day is different. I could be speaking to corporate clients about the implications of sending employees to the UK and the payroll reporting requirement, determining share option tax implication for M&A, making disclosures to HMRC, have tax briefing calls with individuals about how relocation will impact their employment and personal income tax, and reviewing personal tax returns.
Some of the client queries we incur are very technical. I attend various training events and read tax news/technical guidance to keep my knowledge up to date. I also really enjoy providing technical training to junior members of the team.
Apart from client work, I am a member of the PKF Tax social committee. We meet up regularly to organise social events and provide support to our charity partners.
Looking ahead, how do you see the Global Mobility tax landscape evolving?
After the COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely has become standard practice which brings with it many challenges for both the employer and the individuals to comply with local regulations. This may result in a change in tax regulations to allow the employment country to tax non-resident Directors and employees.
As the world economy enters a recession, the government’s tax policy and companies’ recruitment strategy may change dramatically compared to the previous decade.
It also will be very interesting to see how HMRC’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ plan works for Globally Mobile employees.