This is the first in a new series of EY thought leadership articles that examine key transfer pricing risks in the post-BEPS world.
We’ll help you navigate the global tax landscape
The business and tax landscapes have changed dramatically, and the pace and complexity of change continues to increase. Governments are tempering the need for revenue with increased competition for labor and capital. Tax authorities are adapting their enforcement strategies, focus and policies in response to the changing dynamics of business. Companies are balancing competing priorities, ensuring they maintain compliance while adding value.
We can assist you with these critical issues in today's tax environment, including:
- Operating in a shifting tax landscape
The global tax landscape continues to change, with near-constant news hitting the headlines regarding shifting tax policy, increasing levels of enforcement and the growing potential of reputational risk.
Multinational companies now have to balance more competing priorities than ever before, ensuring they protect their business by monitoring and responding to changes, while maintaining the highest levels of compliance and continuing to add value from the tax function.
Governments work to secure each tax dollar they're due
From a policy perspective, all governments want their country to be viewed as an attractive place to do business, to attract jobs and capital in a competitive globalized arena.
At the same time, they want to increase the amount of revenue they bring in. Governments are treading a fine line, constantly assessing how to secure the tax revenues they see as rightly theirs, while at the same time being in direct competition with other nations, making sure they do not scare off mobile capital.
Tax administrations are adapting their enforcement strategies, focus and policies in response to the changing business dynamics. They are working to ensure resources are being applied to the right issues and taxpayers, and to share leading practices and taxpayer information with their foreign counterparts to help collect every dollar due.
Disputes are on the rise
The result has been more frequent, complex and higher value disputes between taxpayers and taxing authorities — a trend that is increasing as countries collaborate together and as emerging markets gain in stature and influence, taking a more sophisticated approach to taxation. Penalties are becoming more stringent and the threat of reputational risk has risen significantly.
We can help you navigate a route through the complexities
We can help you monitor and react to quickly-changing tax policy and assess the economic and fiscal impact.
Where tax policies might create an impediment to your business that is unintended by policy makers, we can help you collaborate – either solely or as part of a group of companies – with government to:
- Explain the impediment
- Develop alternative policy choices which are logical and well thought out
- Model the potential outcomes
- Deliver an alternative choice to the government in a form with which policymakers can comfortably work
We also help you address your global tax controversy, enforcement and disclosure needs. We focus on pre-filing controversy management and help you properly and consistently prepare your returns and the relevant back-up documentation.
Where a controversy has already occurred, our professionals leverage the firm's collective knowledge of how tax authorities operate, and increasingly work together, to help resolve difficult or sensitive tax disputes. To ensure that continuous performance improvements are instigated after a controversy, we work across our network of professionals to ensure that similar events are less likely to occur.
- Seizing the opportunity in Global Compliance and Reporting
Global Compliance and Reporting (GCR) is at a tipping point, with risks on the rise. Many companies distribute responsibility for GCR processes throughout their organization, creating a patchwork. Local jurisdictions are rewriting regulations, focusing more intently on the collection of tax revenues and sharing more taxpayer information across borders.
Due to the combination of evolving business models, transforming finance functions and an increasingly complex regulatory landscape, there are new opportunities to better optimize efficiency, control and value, to help mitigate risk and improve performance.
What is Global Compliance and Reporting?
GCR comprises the key elements of a company's finance and tax processes that prepare statutory financial and tax filings as required in countries around the world. These duties include:
- Statutory accounting and reporting
- Tax accounting and provisions
- Income tax compliance
- Indirect tax compliance
- Governance and control of the above processes
GCR activities reside in the middle of a broader set of record-to-report (R2R) processes. R2R is the intersection between any company's finance and tax departments and is used to capture, process and store information that is essential to statutory accounting, tax compliance and reporting. Any change to R2R processes, information, finance systems, roles and responsibilities will have a direct impact on GCR processes.
Helping you meet the new GCR demands
Fast changing compliance and reporting requirements are more demanding on tax and finance functions today than ever before. So how do you improve control and quality, manage risk, create efficiency and drive value?
Our market-leading approach combines standard and efficient processes, highly effective tools and an extensive network of local tax and accounting subject matter professionals.
- Managing mobile workforce risk
In today's globally integrated, tightly regulated and increasingly competitive business environment, one critical success factor stands out: people. It’s no wonder that leading companies are focusing their efforts on:
- Attracting and retaining the right people
- Global talent deployment and mobility
- HR and payroll effectiveness
- Risk, governance and compliance
Managing the risks of mobile employees
While optimizing the competitive advantage of your people has long been a core objective, a more recent set of trends in the tax landscape means that large companies with an internationally mobile workforce are at a higher risk of tax noncompliance and resulting controversy than ever before.
Fortunately, an increasing number of organizations are currently either planning or embracing a wider process of change for their mobility teams.
Unintended tax compliance obligations
These travelers are increasingly creating unintended tax compliance obligations, and the resulting risks are not just personal. They are felt at the corporate level, with the corporate tax function often unaware of the extent of the spreading problem. Tax administrations are becoming increasingly aware of the issue, however, and are very effectively using new technology to identify where a tax obligation has arisen. In a rising tax enforcement landscape, this issue has significant potential to grow.
Managing these risks should be a burning platform issue for multinational companies.
Will your tax risks prompt a tax audit?
What may start as a relatively simple personal income tax compliance issue can quickly create a ripple effect, with risks such as the creation of a permanent establishment, an employment tax audit or the payment of a significant related penalty all occurring at the corporate level.
Companies, recognizing the spectrum of reputational, personal and financial risks related to tax, are making strong efforts to be compliant. There is an increasing acceptance that such issues are becoming increasingly urgent from both a reputational and a financial perspective.
How we are helping companies
Our Human Capital network embeds processes and technology that will help companies to identify and manage short-term business traveler-related risks before they occur. Where controversy has already arisen, our global Tax Controversy network can use our insights into the culture and processes and relationships with each key tax administration to remediate issues. With prior year issues being rapidly unearthed, and with tax administrations focusing on this issue more than ever before, the time to act is now.
Managing Partner Tax Belgium
Contact | Office: +32 (0)2 774 94 20
Belgium Tax Desk New York
Max Van den Bergh
Sr. Manager | International Tax Services
Contact | Office: Office: +1 212 773 5586
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The business and tax landscapes have changed dramatically, and the pace and complexity of change continue to increase. Through our insights on critical issues in today’s tax environment, we ask better questions to find better answers — and help you build a better working world.
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