With its close proximity to London and well developed infrastructure, Reading has attracted many big businesses to the area. Many large organizations are keen to establish offices in the town because it offers easy access to London without the property premium of the capital.
The UK’s four leading accounting firms, KPMG, PwC, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte, all have offices in Reading. Information technology, telecommunications, and financial services are all key industries in the area. Corporations who have a major presence in the Reading area also include Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu, Ericsson, and Verizon.
The neighboring town of Slough has the largest trading estate in Europe, and is also home to the UK’s biggest business park. There are more company headquarters based in Slough than in any other UK town or city.
Unemployment is generally lower in the southeast of England than in some other regions of the UK, and in Reading unemployment figures are even lower than the southeast average. Some figures even suggest that the average contribution to the economy by employees in Reading is higher than in any other city or town in the UK.
Recruitment agencies are widely used in the UK and many vacancies, including jobs in Reading, are advertised online on recruitment and job listing websites. Sites such as Monster and Totaljobs.com also offer guidance on their websites, e.g. on how to create a winning CV.
The large national newspapers such as The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, and the Financial Times carry job advertisements, both in the paper and on their associated websites, for executive and professional positions. Another good option for finding a job is to attend careers fairs. And social media sites such as LinkedIn are becoming an increasingly popular way of finding employment.
Expatriates working in Reading are required to pay income tax. If you are residing in the UK you are eligible for a tax free allowance of several thousand pounds sterling. If you are employed by a UK company the tax you are required to pay will usually be deducted at source.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be required to submit an annual self-assessment tax return to the tax authority Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Such tax returns are usually required for high earners, self-employed persons, and non-resident expats working in the UK.
The tax year begins on 6 April and ends on 5 April of the following year. Tax returns must be submitted by 30 September of the next financial period on paper or by 31 January online.
Other taxes payable in the UK include VAT (usually charged at 20% where applicable) and council tax, which varies according to the area where you live and the type of property you own or rent.