Too early for in-house? (Tax) Forum

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Too early for in-house? (Tax)

Post by Anonymous User » Wed May 29, 2024 12:01 pm

I am currently a 2nd year NYC tax planning associate who received an in-house offer, which is much sooner than I thought possible. $180k base salary + sign on bonus, 401k, and pension. The compensation looks pretty attractive, I like the company/people, etc.

That said, I am only a second year. I know most people leave for in-house around ~ end of year 3. I always intended to leave for in-house. I have no partnership aspirations and think the lives of the partners suck. The in-house job would let me do more tax work I am interested in and I think is more in demand than what I do at the firm. However, I don't want to kneecap my career by leaving too early. I also generally like the associates/partners I work with and don't feel like the firm is a sweatshop (worst nightmare would be leaving in-house and getting worse WLB).

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nealric

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Re: Too early for in-house? (Tax)

Post by nealric » Wed May 29, 2024 9:59 pm

I went in-house in tax after year 3, which was pretty early (similar salary, inflation adjusted anyways). I'd do it again, but be aware I did have to fight for raises. Responsibility came as older folks retired. I was fortunate that I found a place with a lot of people near retirement age.

The biggest adjustment in-house for me was the tax accounting side (going to a public company). I was used to only thinking about cash tax, but in-house you'll be thinking a lot about the financial accounting impacts. If you are a CPA, the transition is probably a bit easier.

A lot will depend on who is there to mentor you at the company. You learn a lot from outside counsel, but it's very difficult to come in as a junior associate and be expected to issue spot like someone with a lot more experience.

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Re: Too early for in-house? (Tax)

Post by hangtime813 » Thu May 30, 2024 12:36 pm

It sounds like a great opportunity that I would take. In-house tax counsel positions are relatively harder to get since the company needs to be pretty huge so this chance may not pop up again for awhile

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nealric

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Re: Too early for in-house? (Tax)

Post by nealric » Thu May 30, 2024 1:39 pm

hangtime813 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 12:36 pm
It sounds like a great opportunity that I would take. In-house tax counsel positions are relatively harder to get since the company needs to be pretty huge so this chance may not pop up again for awhile
It's true the company has to be pretty large to justify full-time tax counsel, but the pool of qualified applicants is also dramatically smaller. I've done hiring for in-house tax counsel and received only 2 remotely qualified applicants out of around 100 applications. As such, I don't think it's harder for a tax associate to go in-house than other specialties.

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Re: Too early for in-house? (Tax)

Post by CanadianWolf » Sat Jun 01, 2024 6:07 pm

nealric wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 1:39 pm
hangtime813 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 12:36 pm
It sounds like a great opportunity that I would take. In-house tax counsel positions are relatively harder to get since the company needs to be pretty huge so this chance may not pop up again for awhile
It's true the company has to be pretty large to justify full-time tax counsel, but the pool of qualified applicants is also dramatically smaller. I've done hiring for in-house tax counsel and received only 2 remotely qualified applicants out of around 100 applications. As such, I don't think it's harder for a tax associate to go in-house than other specialties.
Are you willing to share what qualifications you & your company were seeking ? (My suspicion is that few attorneys were also accountants/CPAs.)

Thank you in advance for your response.

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nealric

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Re: Too early for in-house? (Tax)

Post by nealric » Mon Jun 03, 2024 11:29 am

CanadianWolf wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2024 6:07 pm
nealric wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 1:39 pm
hangtime813 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 12:36 pm
It sounds like a great opportunity that I would take. In-house tax counsel positions are relatively harder to get since the company needs to be pretty huge so this chance may not pop up again for awhile
It's true the company has to be pretty large to justify full-time tax counsel, but the pool of qualified applicants is also dramatically smaller. I've done hiring for in-house tax counsel and received only 2 remotely qualified applicants out of around 100 applications. As such, I don't think it's harder for a tax associate to go in-house than other specialties.
Are you willing to share what qualifications you & your company were seeking ? (My suspicion is that few attorneys were also accountants/CPAs.)

Thank you in advance for your response.
We ended up hiring a JD/CPA, but that was not a hard requirement. We were really just looking for any tax attorney with the requisite basic credentials (Biglaw or Big4 background) and experience level (mid to senior associate level). I will say that JD/CPAs are particularly valuable in-house because any planning needs to consider tax accounting impacts. Plus, any company where the CAMT is a factor has to consider the financial accounting aspects when doing tax planning.

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Re: Too early for in-house? (Tax)

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 06, 2024 3:41 pm

nealric wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 1:39 pm
hangtime813 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 12:36 pm
It sounds like a great opportunity that I would take. In-house tax counsel positions are relatively harder to get since the company needs to be pretty huge so this chance may not pop up again for awhile
It's true the company has to be pretty large to justify full-time tax counsel, but the pool of qualified applicants is also dramatically smaller. I've done hiring for in-house tax counsel and received only 2 remotely qualified applicants out of around 100 applications. As such, I don't think it's harder for a tax associate to go in-house than other specialties.
OP here. Thank you so much for posting nealric; I've seen your other posts here and they are consistently informative. I remember getting into tax originally taking some of the information you posted here into consideration.

Let's also say hypothetically the in-house company is willing to ratchet up the starting pay to, say, ~205k. I've seen fourth years get less in house - and to be clear, I do not want to make partner and have always aimed for in-house.

Another important consideration: at this job I would be able to do more of the tax (energy related) that I really want to do. If I stay at the firm, 70-80% of my hours are going to be spent in an incredibly niche field without much portable skills and absolutely 0 in-house use. I was able to snag this offer by pitching the 20-30% that isn't this niche field. That 20-30% is completely dependent on a single partner that may or may not leave in the next 5 years. Professionally speaking, this has been the biggest malus to staying for me.

Maybe I'm not thinking through this too clearly but I do want to take it. I'm not confident I could get better in 2-3 years and really don't want to wait 5-6 years.

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nealric

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Re: Too early for in-house? (Tax)

Post by nealric » Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:00 am

I don't see a strong reason to hold out under those circumstances.

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