Taxand Global Conference 2011
Hosted by Taxand France, the Taxand Global Conference 2011 took place at the InterContinental Paris Le-Grand Hotel, in Paris from the 27th to 29th April.
Nearly 200 Taxand clients attended alongside over 280 Taxanders. The key message from clients and Taxanders alike this year was: tax needs to be firmly placed on the Board's agenda. As governments worldwide use tax rates and scrutiny to manage the impact of the global economic meltdown, tax implications must be considered before making any commercial decisions. Tax professionals need to be business advisors as well as tax advisors to help Boards deliver shareholder return at the same time as managing the impact of this change. Taxand will do our utmost to influence this shift in the year ahead.
Key pointers from the conference
- regularly review your tax strategy to accommodate fluctuating tax rates
- proving substance has to be your go forward mantra to combat increased legislation and anti-avoidance enforcement
- consider the protection of your corporate reputation as a subset of tax risk and bring PR competency into your tax team to cope with "moralising" public and media
- avoid common pitfalls at the outset of any international tax structuring project; share knowledge and use "what if" planning to prepare too
- consider appointing a Project Practice Director to minimise risk and "unknown unknowns"
- spend some time thinking about how your tax strategies can be more aligned with your company's strategic direction; the time is now
- work on your relationships with tax authorities -- collaboration is key
- as part of your M&A strategic planning consider tax implications before making any moves: global acquisition means global tax structuring
- carefully review your Holdco management and control infrastructures to demonstrate substance
- embrace technological solutions to deal with increased scrutiny
Plenary Session I: Changing Times - Changing Tax Environment
The opening plenary session of Taxand's Global Conference 2011 outlined Taxand's firm belief that it's not just tax rates and systems that have changed worldwide to stimulate economic growth, attitudes and behaviour have shifted too. This session focused on the practical implications of these changes for multinationals: dealing with the broadening of tax bases, managing tighter CFC controls, coping with beneficial ownership audits and the new reputational threat of public protests.
Plenary Session II: International Tax Structuring That Works; Implementation Pitfalls to Avoid
Achieving tax optimisation in global tax projects is a challenge. Determining what can be done and then making sure implementation is thorough and durable is a constant headache for global tax directors. During this session Taxanders from around the world used a number of practical case studies to share insights into how to avoid implementation pitfalls and deliver international tax structures and systems that make tangible, commercial sense.
Plenary Session III: Multinationals Under Fire - Improving Relationships with Tax Authorities Worldwide
Speakers: Angel Calleja, Spain; Jonathan Leigh Pemberton, OECD, Tax Administration Division; Arthur Pleijsier, Medtronic, Global Tax Director
The pressure on tax authorities worldwide to increase revenue has put multinationals in the firing line. Harsher audits, more anti-avoidance legislation and severe transfer pricing assessments have been some of the knock-on effects. Through this session involving the OECD and a multinational CFO, Taxand provided an overview of the new model the OECD are developing to improve relationships with tax authorities and how multinationals can prepare for its implementation.
Plenary Session IV: M&A Global Transactions - New Considerations Under Scrutiny
Centred around one of the biggest global acquisitions and subsequent carve out transactions of late, this session provided multinationals with new insights into dealing with the increased scrutiny of tax authorities worldwide. A global view of the key tax issues surrounding the closing of a joint venture was provided with a particular focus on the impact of Vodafone case law in India.
Keynote II: M&A Trends & Market Moves Across Europe
European partners, Accuracy
An interactive session led by Accuracy, the corporate financial consultants provided a thought-provoking analysis of the latest key M&A trends and moves across Europe.
Plenary Session V: Taxand the CFO: Taxand Global Survey 2011
Our first Taxand Global Survey conducted with an exclusive selection of our large multinational clients located across the Americas, Europe and Asia, examined the pressing tax challenges affecting businesses today
View key trends and pointers from the survey here.
Request a copy of the full research findings report here.
Client Panel Discussion
A panel of key Taxand clients and Taxand moderators had a lively debate around topical issues worldwide. The changing role of the tax function; the need to cooperate further with authorities at the same time as generating cash within the business; the firm placement of tax on the Board agenda and the difficulty of keeping up with ever-changing legislation worldwide were some of the areas covered.
Key comments were issued to the media over the two days of the conference:
- Taxand Global Survey 2011: Taxand the CFO
- Multinational Companies Share Tax Concerns
- Uncertain, Shifting Global Tax Environment Causing Havoc In Multinational Boardrooms
- M&A Transactions Under Scrutiny
- Increasing Tax Traps Creating Hazardous Battlefield For Multinationals Seeking International Expansion
Taxand's Take Newsletter May 2011
Read our special edition Taxand's Take newsletter, dedicated to the Taxand Global Conference here.
All conference delegates have received a copy of the full findings report (published exclusively in the Financial Times) by email.
Anecdotes and case studies were also shared to help clients picture how to apply Taxand's experience to their businesses. Serge Grudzinski, Humour Consulting Group and European Partners from Accuracy, both delivered engaging keynote speeches identifying a comic take on "Practical & Innovative Worldwide Tax Strategies for the Future" and a research driven view on "M&A Trends & Market Moves Across Europe" respectively.
Over 50 bespoke client meetings were also arranged throughout the conference to discuss specific areas and jurisdictions of interest.
Client feedback from the event has been excellent with many quoting the Taxand Global Conference 2011 as the best yet! View our Client Talk Film here to see what clients were saying at the event.