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Job details and how to apply for our Senior Policy Adviser role at the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA).

Role details

Job title

Senior Policy Adviser

Salary range

£51,380 to £61,440

Grade

Grade 7

Working pattern

This is a full-time role. However, flexible working arrangements and job sharing are welcomed and will be considered.

Contract type

Permanent OR available as a loan or secondment for up to 2 years.

Location

We encourage flexible and hybrid working but we’re currently asking our people to work from home if they can, or from our Merthyr Tydfil/Cardiff office locations. 

Once it’s safe for us to return to the office, we will be working between the Welsh Government offices in Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff. This role would be based in the Cardiff office with regular attendance at our new offices which we will be moving to in 2022, likely in the Pontypridd area.

Closing date and time

Monday 24 January 2022, at 11:55pm

Reporting to

Dave Matthews, Head of Tax Strategy and Policy

Contact us about this role

recruitment@wra.gov.wales

About us

At the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA), we’re responsible for collecting and managing two devolved Welsh taxes; Land Transaction Tax and Landfill Disposals Tax, on behalf of the Welsh Government. The revenue we raise funds public services, like the NHS and schools, in communities across Wales.

We’re committed to helping deliver a fair tax system for Wales through what we call ‘Our Approach’ - a Welsh way of doing tax. By working collaboratively with representatives, partner organisations, taxpayers, and the public, we make sure taxes are collected efficiently and effectively.

We base everything we do on our Corporate Plan 2019 to 2022. This sets out our purpose, strategic objectives, and longer-term ambitions. We report on our work annually - see our latest Annual Report and Accounts 2020 to 2021.

We’re a small and multi-skilled organisation of more than 70 staff, with talents, skills and experience spanning 14 different professions. We champion innovation, collaboration and shared decision-making. And we empower and entrust our people with high levels of responsibility and autonomy.

Find out more about what it’s like to work with us in our latest People Survey.

For further information, please visit gov.wales/wra

About the role

Working directly to the Head of Tax Strategy and Policy, the Senior Tax Policy Adviser will play a key leadership role in taking forward the team’s agenda. The WRA Tax Strategy and Policy team leads development of WRA policy and guidance on service delivery and the application of devolved taxes. It also provides advice and support on complex tax risks, and works in partnership with the Welsh Treasury on the strategic and administrative design of the system of devolved taxes in Wales. Policy developed by the team supports the efficient, fair and effective delivery of our services for taxpayers and their agents, and also establishes lawful and proportionate compliance, litigation and enforcement strategies based on WRA’s civil and criminal enforcement powers.

You will need to be a great team player, possess strong analytical skills and enjoy working with others to find innovative solutions to complex problems. You will also need to develop a detailed understanding of the devolved tax landscape in Wales, working closely with partners across government to shape the design of possible future taxes so the policy intent and service delivery are effectively aligned.

To be successful in the role, you will need to enjoy engaging with a diverse network of stakeholders, tracking and influencing developments in devolved taxation and wider policy areas. You will need to be confident in communicating both high-level strategy and detailed technical matters clearly and simply to a range of audiences.

The work of the Tax Strategy and Policy team varies according to emerging issues and trends, delivery of WRA priorities and wider Welsh Government strategy for devolved taxes in Wales. We are looking for an individual who can work flexibly and collaboratively to resolve uncertainty, and to develop robust solutions to challenging issues. An immediate focus will be coordinating WRA support to Welsh Government in exploring options to introduce local rates of Land Transaction Tax to help address the issue of second homes in Wales.

To enjoy the role, you will need to appreciate that the WRA is still forming and there is much to do, and that the role will change over time as we respond to the needs of a new Welsh Government and support its aims through the unprecedented and fast-changing response to the coronavirus pandemic and the UK exiting the European Union.

This is an opportunity to join a small team with a wide reach. As the WRA is still a young organisation there is a genuine opportunity to influence and shape our direction across a range of policy areas. You will work collaboratively with all of our teams, and the breadth and variety of the role is exciting: you can provide advice on the application of tax legislation one day and support wider Welsh Government with future tax design the next.

Dave Matthews, Head of Tax Strategy and Policy

Information session for candidates

We will be holding a candidate information session on 19 January 2022 at 12 noon on Microsoft Teams. This will be an opportunity for you to find out more about the role if you would like to attend contact us at: recruitment@wra.gov.wales

Main tasks

Strategic policy development

  • Play a leading role in developing our approach to Land Transaction Tax (LTT), working closely with internal and external stakeholders to review, update and shape the future of devolved taxes.
  • Coordinate and shape WRA advice to and collaboration with Welsh Treasury colleagues on significant policy changes to LTT, such as the potential introduction of local rates of tax to address second homes, and coordinate WRA thinking on service delivery.
  • Lead WRA advice and support to wider Welsh Government to prepare for the independent review of LTT in 2022, and to consider the implications for devolved taxes of changes in the UK tax landscape (for example, HM Treasury consultation on possible changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax).
  • Lead WRA advice and collaboration on the development of specific tax policy projects as set out in the Welsh Government’s tax policy work plan, including possible changes to devolved taxes and the introduction of new taxes.
  • Lead development of evidence-based policy, using data, customer insight and analysis to identify and address issues early, resolving complexity to ensure that devolved taxes operate as intended. Where necessary, the postholder will also advise wider Welsh Government and Ministers on changes to devolved tax legislation.
  • Identify and lead on development of strategies – working with the WRA Board and executive leadership team – such as our approach to criminal enforcement, tax avoidance etc., to support the effective delivery of devolved taxes, working across the organisation to enable delivery of our corporate plan objectives.
  • Lead on aspects of the work to update the WRA’s governance framework and supporting legislation, to ensure that our functions and governance structures continue to reflect our wider purpose and objectives.

Operational policy development

  • Provide high quality and timely advice on the practical application of LTT to resolve uncertainty and ensure that decisions are made and communicated in a way that is sound, clear and lawful.
  • Identify and address issues arising from implementation of tax policy, leading on changes to our existing approach where necessary.
  • Lead on the development and evaluation of WRA operational policies – notably the use of powers under the Tax Collection and Management (Wales) Act 2016.
  • Lead on completion of equality impact assessments for relevant areas of responsibility, ensuring we understand the impacts of the strategies and policies we develop on our customers.
  • Develop a working knowledge of Landfill Disposals Tax to provide advice and support policy development where needed;
  • Review WRA decisions where challenged by taxpayers and support colleagues to build tax and technical capability.

Building relationships

  • Develop and maintain relationships with other relevant bodies involved in tax administration (HMRC, Revenue Scotland, Natural Resources Wales) and key stakeholders (Welsh Treasury, other government departments, Law Society, representative bodies), as well as wider external stakeholders.

You will also contribute to the continuous development of the organisation, supporting corporate projects where appropriate.

Success criteria

We recruit using success profiles. Our success profiles guidance will help you in completing your application. 

In brief, this approach means: 

  • we look for evidence of what you have done and what you can do. This means we look for the behaviours, strengths and ability needed to do the job 
  • where necessary or relevant, we also consider experience and technical knowledge 
  • this approach starts at application stage and continues throughout the recruitment process 
  • we may only look for some things at certain stages. We’ll always be clear what we’re looking for and when 

You should highlight evidence from the table below during the recruitment process. You may also wish to refer to the main tasks mentioned above. 

Behaviours

Criteria

Assessed in personal statement and CV

Assessed during interview or assessment

Seeing the big picture

Ensure plans and activities in your area of work reflect wider strategic priorities and communicate effectively with senior leaders to influence future strategies. Bring together views, perspectives and diverse needs of stakeholders to gain a broader understanding of the issues surrounding policies and activities.

Yes

Yes

Working together

Actively build and maintain a network of colleagues and contacts to achieve progress on shared objectives. Remain available and approachable to all colleagues and be receptive to new ideas.

Yes

Yes

Making effective decisions

Present reasonable conclusions from a wide range of complex and sometimes incomplete evidence. Make decisions confidently even when details are unclear or if they prove to be unpopular.

Yes

Yes

Strengths

Criteria

Assessed in personal statement and CV

Assessed during interview or assessment

Problem solver

You take a positive approach to tackling problems and find ways to identify suitable solutions.

No

Yes

Influencer

You influence others, you articulate the rationale to gain their agreement.

No

Yes

Learner

You are inquisitive, you seek out new information and look for new ways to develop yourself.

No

Yes

Experience and technical knowledge

Criteria

Assessed in personal statement and CV

Assessed during interview or assessment

An ability to quickly build expertise in policy development and tax legislation.

No

Yes

Welsh language requirements

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this post.

Welsh language skills

Welsh skills are desirable

Reading

0 = No skills

Spoken

0 = No skills

Understanding

0 = No skills

Written

0 = No skills

Welsh desirable means that having Welsh language skills would be useful in this role, but it is not an assessment criteria so it won’t put you at any disadvantage during recruitment if you aren’t a Welsh speaker. We support all staff to learn or improve their Welsh language skills once they join us. 

Level of security vetting

As a civil service department, all our people have access to government assets. Different roles require different levels of national security vetting.

Clearance level

Required for the role

Baseline Personnel Security Standard

Yes

Counter Terrorist Check

No

Security Check

No

Developed Vetting

No

Assessment

Our assessment process includes a blended interview, where we test you against the criteria above. Depending on the role, we may:

  • test for strengths relevant to the behaviours
  • ask you to complete an exercise, test, or presentation at interview stage
  • ask if you have any requirements you would like us to be aware of

How to apply

To apply for this role, please send us:

  1. Your CV (no more than 2 pages of A4).
  2. A personal statement (800 to 1,200 words) on how you meet the criteria.
  3. Your Details form. This allows us to make sure our recruitment process remains fair. It will not be shared further than our HR team.

Send all 3 documents to recruitment@wra.gov.wales

To be fair to all, we do not accept:

  • late applications
  • incomplete or missing documents
  • personal statements over 1,200 words

We're unable to discuss opportunities with recruitment agencies, please apply directly. 

We’re currently working from home and unfortunately cannot accept applications by post. If you're interested in this role and unable to apply by email, please contact us on 03000 254 699 to discuss alternative ways to apply.

Benefits

We offer a wide range of benefits when you join the WRA, such as:

  • a generous pension
  • progression related pay
  • 31 days holiday

Find out more about the benefits of working for us.

Find out more about us

Find out more about our work by visiting our website. Or follow and engage with us on our Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts.