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Baby Boomers In Tax - The Clock Is Ticking

Posted by TaxTalent 1 Year Ago | 0

Tax knowledge is running out the door at a rate we have never seen before.

Based on our 2019 study, we all knew the percentages of baby boomers at the head of tax and #2 levels were high. We have since compiled the entire breakdown of baby boomers to provide an inside look at how this demographic shift will impact the overall corporate in-house tax department. It’s worse than we thought.

The shocking news here is the percentages of baby boomers at the #3, manager, and staff/senior levels, signifying we are on the verge of a significant loss of tax expertise across the board.

See the startling breakdown for yourself:


After reflecting on this, we wondered why there might be such a strong showing of boomers among the lower-tier positions. We realized we have an older population at some of the major industrial employers (ex. Manufacturing, Utilities, Energy, Infrastructure). They seem to have more longer-term employees in their tax functions, with some being employed for decades. These companies have lower turnover and are less dynamic with technology, so this trend is not necessarily reflective of what the FAANG are doing.

Why should you be concerned?

  1. The clock is ticking down. The incredible loss of baby boomers across corporate in-house tax departments will result in a massive loss of tax wisdom. 
  2. With Gen Xers being such a small cohort and being counted on to move into #1 roles, Millennials will need to be accelerated into leadership roles ASAP.

We have addressed ways tax leaders can combat this in previous white papers: 

  1. The Tax Leadership Shakeup Ahead - Don’t Get Caught Off Guard
  2. Managing Supply and Demand Tensions in Tax

While we can’t predict how quickly this will all play out, the tax industry is obviously in for a rude awakening if we don’t start training and fast-tracking the younger generations. 

We are keeping a close eye on these demographic trends and will keep you updated as these numbers shift. As a TaxTalent member, you will receive updates on these demographic trends FIRST. 

Are you noticing this trend in your tax department? Reply below with your comments or experiences.

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