Reporting to the Head of Tax and acting as primary contact for VAT issues.
Managing a team of two based in the heart of Oxford.
About Our Client
Welcome to the University of Oxford. We aim to lead the world in research and education for the benefit of society both in the UK and globally. Oxford's researchers engage with academic, commercial and cultural partners across the world to stimulate high-quality research and enable innovation through a broad range of social, policy and economic impacts.
We believe our strengths lie both in empowering individuals and teams to address fundamental questions of global significance, while providing all our staff with a welcoming and inclusive workplace that enables everyone to develop and do their best work. Recognising that diversity is our strength, vital for innovation and creativity, we aspire to build a truly diverse community which values and respects every individual's unique contribution.
Join us and you will find a unique, democratic and international community, a great range of staff benefits and access to a vibrant array of cultural activities in the beautiful city of Oxford.
For more information please visit www.ox.ac.uk/about/organisation
The Tax Team is part of the Finance Division that supports departmental accounting functions to ensure accurate tax compliance and reporting, and to effectively manage tax risk. It also provides an information and advisory service to the University community that will include new building constructions, research activities, major projects, investments, overseas issues and trading subsidiaries. Oxford University Press operates with a high degree of autonomy but is part of the whole legal entity that is the University and which shares common tax reporting.
The University operates under a Partial Exemption Special Method agreed with HMRC to fairly attribute input VAT with outputs and to determine the level of recoverability. This reflects the variety of different supplies that the University makes, and which includes large amounts of exempt education and non-business grant funded research. Costs relating to non-recoverable input VAT are partly mitigated by the reliefs available for medical research and supplies that are closely related to education.
Reporting to the Head of Tax, this is a key role within central finance with significant financial responsibility, acting as the primary point of contact for academic departments on VAT issues. Specifically, the role is responsible for ensuring that both the procedures surrounding VAT accounting are compliant and that the risks and opportunities are managed to the University's best interests. Managing a team of two, the role will ensure the correct maintenance of the VAT aspects of Oracle R12 and the tax engine. The role will also involve representing the University in its dealings with HM Revenue & Customs, external advisers and other universities.
- To take responsibility for proactively identifying VAT risks and opportunities, working with the Head of Tax and Treasury and the Head of Tax in the formulation and maintaining of a sound VAT strategy for the University. This is to ensure that the University is both VAT compliant and VAT efficient. It is also vital for protecting the University's reputation.
- Be responsible for contributing to policy positions in respect of significant and contentious areas of ongoing potential VAT exposure, e.g. grant-funded research collaboration, utilities non-business attribution, funding of University's overseas operations. Be responsible for engaging with HM Revenue & Customs, professional advisers and other universities to ensure that our judgements are defensible so as to protect the University's interests.
- Be the primary University VAT advisory contact for Estates Services, who are responsible for administering the current £1.8 billion Capital Projects programme. By proactively engaging with Estates Services finance staff, project managers and architects, you will work to achieve significant VAT efficiencies on capital projects.
- Responsible for meeting with, and advising Heads of Division, and Divisional Financial Controllers on VAT matters, in particular the VAT implications of research activity. VAT is often a critical factor as to whether an activity is commercially viable and it is therefore necessary to develop meaningful relationships with the key personnel.
- Day-to-day responsibility for managing the University's relationship with HM Revenue & Customs regarding VAT. HMRC have identified the University as a 'complex' business and it is the VAT Manager's responsibility to ensure that the University implements the necessary controls and demonstrates the behaviours to maintain our current 'low risk' status with this agency. This entails ensuring compliance with statutory returns and the proactive management of technical issues. Ultimately this protects the University's reputation.
- Represent the University on tax matters at the British Universities Finance Directors Group. Membership of BUFDG's National Tax Group and attending regional meetings, up to ten times per year. This is to ensure that you remain aware of sector-specific issues and that Oxford's interests are represented in BUFDG's policy initiatives.
- Represent the University on the Charities Tax Group Management Committee, which is responsible for lobbying government on behalf of the interests of all charities. Active participation in this body's activities allows for Oxford's interests to be maintained and promoted. It also allows the University to be at the forefront of negotiations regarding the practical implications on new policies effecting the University, such as the new Apprenticeship Levy and the changes to Gift Aid.
- Provide support to resolve Oracle R12 and tax engine queries and to enhance the integrity of the system. This requires developing a close working relationship with our IT colleagues to reduce systematic VAT errors.
- Line manager to two members of the Tax Team; the VAT Advisor, and the VAT Assistant. Monitor their day-to-day activities to ensure that the Team's workload is fulfilled.
- Deliver VAT training to departments to foster understanding and dialogue with University staff with financial responsibilities to enable a closer working relationship.
The Successful Applicant
- CTA or substantial qualification by experience in a tax environment. Educated to degree level or equivalent.
- Detailed knowledge of VAT legislation and its application to the HE/charitable sector.
- Substantial experience of tax, and VAT in particular, preferably in the HE sector or charity.
- A working understanding of other UK taxes.
- Good communication skills, both written and oral, and the ability to explain difficult or technical concepts in an understandable way.
- Comfortable in preparing, and making presentations at all levels.
- High levels of personal effectiveness, particularly co-ordination, organisation, and the ability to ensure that deadlines are met.
- Tact, professional judgement, and the ability to interact positively and authoritatively with a wide range of stakeholders.
- Advanced Excel skills and the ability to use, interrogate, and extract reports from Oracle Financials.
- Proven experience of staff management.
What's on Offer
Competitive Basic Salary + USS Pension Scheme + 38 days holiday (inclusive).
Shortlisting 11.5.18 and Interviews 17.5.18 & 18.5.18.