Hello Nix! So actually I have never heard of Corporate M&A Tax, but I think it’s just called M&A Tax internally at BDO. Since I also am on the Graduate Scheme for Indirect Tax I can tell you a little about what everything is really like here at BDO.
I agree with everything that James has said, although I would not phrase it as badly as his reply. The dropout rate for M&A tax is phenomenally bad, even amongst normal accounting standards and actually, I would not recommend it to anyone because the work you will be doing is tedious, boring, completely useless and soul crushing but it never stops because when you get home from BDO you have to do more work studying towards two accounting qualifications (ACA and CTA).
HR know there is a big problem with this program at the moment it’s important we should be honest with you about how much extra crap you will have to go through over three years for actually very little gain. I’m lucky myself to be in a tax service line I really enjoy and I have a good work life balance in Indirect Tax but M&A Tax is completely different. The hours are much longer; you are expected to do lots of tedious administration work and you have very little (if any) exposure to actual M&A deals if you even qualify (most people quit after the first year). If you are from a legal background you might enjoy it a bit more, since most of your work will be going through books and books to find the right passage for the partner to read. After the three years are up you do not have any actual accounting, M&A or real tax experience so your prospects of going into another career are limited.
If you know you have applied for three years of absolute hell and no social life then accept the BDO offer. If not, you can always change very easily into another Tax service line at BDO (provided you ring HR up before you accept the offer and ask to be changed). One of my colleagues swapped from Audit to Indirect Tax so I know it’s possible, you just have to keep ringing up HR and asking to be changed. Once you start work in your service line it is much harder to change as resources at BDO are very limited.
(Sorry if my response is quite long, we had a chat at BDO today about this forum and I wanted to give you the firsthand view of what it is really like, not what HR sell you)