Taxand Global Conference 2013
The Taxand Global Conference 2013, hosted by Alvarez & Marsal Taxand US, took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City from April 24 to April 26 2013.
A blend of more than 550 Taxand clients and Taxanders from nearly 50 countries joined us this year to discuss topical tax issues, share expertise and enhance relationships. Using a mix of presentations, dynamic multi-media and video content, Taxanders were joined on stage by key business leaders, guest speakers and clients to share their views and key pointers to help drive business performance in an uncertain economy.
Key conference message
Today, the greatest uncertainty for multinationals stems from the impact of tax and legislative change. Now more than ever before multinationals need to keep up to speed with and anticipate this change. Achieving compliance at the same time as managing reputational risk and undertaking substantive tax planning are imperative to compete in a volatile, global economy.
Key conference pointers
- Current global tax trends include a sweeping wave of compliance, regulatory requirements, the implementation of the OECD report on Base Erosion and Profits Sharing alongside a push for harmonisation. The development of FATCA legislation from the US, CFC reform and increases in information exchange agreements are also of major impact to multinationals and your tax departments. Above all else tax audits are on the rise worldwide and collaboration by authorities across borders is on the increase. Multinationals need to have your house in order, with protocols, systems and documentation in place ready to respond to audits in every jurisdiction.
- Having a considered strategy in place with the right people, the right location, the right documents, at the right time is crucial to ensure multinationals can pass increasingly challenging substance requirements, globally. Letterbox and conduit companies are not viable. The potential of double taxation, severe retrospective tax claims, reputational risk and director liability are too severe a threat. Sufficient substance needs to be demonstrated throughout the entire structure of your business abiding strictly to shifting local legislation around residency, beneficial ownership and permanent establishment. Tax risk must be on your Board’s agenda.
- As the ‘virtual’ way we do business evolves the location of taxable profits is ever more complex. Cloud-based software poses the next big challenge to tax authorities as they struggle to classify whether a product or service, which is neither transferred on a tangible medium nor electronically deliverable, should be taxed as a service, taxed as tangible personal property or not subject to tax at all. Because of the varying approaches taken by different jurisdictions to this software, it makes determining whether a transaction is subject to tax much more difficult. Issues can arise over the source of income, tax deferral on foreign earnings, permanent establishment, withholding tax, VAT and transfer pricing. At the same time this technology provides readily available data that can be reviewed as part of a cross-border audit by the tax authorities. Multinationals operating online must review your structures, intangible assets portfolios, transfer pricing approach and procedures thoroughly or risk retrospective taxation.
- By attacking the reputation of multinationals we are in danger of curtailing investment, thwarting growth and compressing innovation. Commercial objectives and shareholder duty drive supply chain planning and any assessment of the tax obligations that accompany these strategic decisions must be realistic and fair. Activity which initially necessitated simple transfer pricing documentation now demands a long list of justifications around issues including substance, commercial rationale and permanent establishment. New business models require new solutions and the linkage between business restructuring and tax planning is more important than ever. Multinationals must be prepared to restructure to optimise tax efficiencies and shareholder profits as well as confront and defend against reputational risk.
- Tax controversy is expanding globally both in scope and ferocity. Multinationals need a clear strategy to manage tax controversy risk in addition to a sound understanding of where challenge lies, what form it will take and how to defend against it.
- VAT is collected in just under 150 countries worldwide. It is only going to get more burdensome in terms of rates and compliance. Applying common policies to VAT planning worldwide, investing in technology to get tax determination and reporting right and having a small team of very focused individuals managing your VAT well can add real value to your tax department and your organisation as a whole.
Find out all you need to know about our annual global conference in NYC, including key content, films, photos and much more in our Taxand’s Take newsletter.
Media interviews took place, key comments were issued and coverage was achieved:
- Wall Street Journal: U.S. Official: Transfer Pricing Enforcement Should Precede New Rules
- Wall Street Journal, WSJ Morning Ledger, WSJ Morning Risk Report: Transfer Pricing Overhaul Seen Altering Internet Taxation
- Reuters' International Taxes Weekly: Six Trends Shaping Global Tax
- Reuters' International Taxes Weekly: BEPs Action Plan May Not Contain Specific Directives
- CFO Innovation: MNCs Facing Increasingly Aggressive Approach to Costly Tax Audits
- Law In France: World’s Top Tax Professionals to Gather at Taxand 2013 Global Conference in New York
- Tax Journal: Reputational Risk Could Hinder Growth
- Accounting Today: Stock Option Tax Break Saved Fortune 500 Over 27 Billion in 3 Years
- Global Banking & Finance Review: What is Your Substance Whereof Are You Made?
- Bloomberg BNA International Tax Strategies (Indirect Taxes): The Importance of VAT Today and in the Future
- Taxand Conference Commentary: World's Top Tax Professionals To Gather At Taxand 2013 Global Conference In New York
- Keynote I: Feature Panel Discussion: Leading in Uncertain Times
- Plenary Session I: Fireside Discussion: Global Tax Trends
- Plenary Session II: The Board's Agenda: Tax Risks
- Plenary Session III: Getting Ahead of E-Commerce and the Cloud
- Plenary Session IV: The Evolution of Business Restructuring to Combat Reputational Attack
- Plenary Session V: Tax Controversy: Building a Watertight Defense
- Plenary Session VI: The Importance of VAT Today and in the Future
Feature Panel Discussion: Leading in Challenging Times
Speakers: Tony Alvarez II, Chief Executive Officer, Alvarez & Marsal, Jeffrey Atwater, CFO, State of Florida, Richard Hoey, Chief Economist, BNY Mellon; Christine Jacobs, CEO, Theragenics; James Metcalfe, VP of Tax, Scientific Games; Robert Stack, US Department of the Treasury moderated by Dr. Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, Yale University’s School of Management and the Founder of the Yale CEO Summit
Our Taxand Global Conference convened with a thought-provoking feature panel discussion. Renowned business and government leaders exchanged views and strategies for effective business leadership in an uncertain global economy. Looking beyond fiscal cliffs and the dark days of economic recession, old paradigms no longer apply. We discussed what actions and insights will be needed by global organisations to accelerate growth and maintain momentum. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld.
Fireside Discussion: Global Tax Trends
Speakers: Robert Stack, US Department of the Treasury; Darryl Steinberg, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc; Philip West, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and moderated by Ernesto Perez, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand US
Ernesto Perez, Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand US, moderated a discussion between Philip West – perhaps best known for his work advising the U.S. Treasury under President Clinton – and Darryl R. Steinberg, Managing Director and Senior Tax Counsel for Lehman Brothers Holdings. Mr. West discussed his wider views on the latest global tax trends and their impact, while Mr. Steinberg shared his observations of how tax authorities around the world are approaching audits, in particular he focused on how, in their search for revenue, they are challenging arrangements that would have previously gone unchallenged.
The Board's Agenda: Tax Risks
Speakers: Kevin Hindley, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand UK, Alistair Armstrong, Development Securities PLC, Olivier Vergniolle,Arsene Taxand France, Marc Sanders, VMW Taxand Netherlands
Taxanders covered tax residency, permanent establishment exposures and beneficial ownership issues in claiming relief under tax treaties. Alistair Armstrong, Head of Tax at a U.K.-multinational, Development Securities PLC, shared his practical experience of presenting at Board-level to achieve risk mitigation.
Getting Ahead of E-Commerce and the Cloud
Speaker: Albert Liguori, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand US
Is Web commerce taxable anywhere? Using a presentation housed in the cloud, this multimedia session highlighted how to stay ahead when business occurs in the cloud. Through a dynamic series of video vignettes, Taxanders from around the globe explained how to deal with some of the tax issues that arise when clients deal with a technology that changes far faster than tax law.
The Evolution of Business Restructuring to Combat Reputational Attack
Speakers: Kent Wisner, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand US, Julie Diehl, Alvarez & Marsal, Tom MacFarlane, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand UK
Tax planning with commercial purpose is not dead. This session took our conference delegates on a journey through the tax profile of multinationals. From the evolution of supply chain optimisation to sourcing, marketing and distribution, covering tax planning, business process improvement, and intangible value creation and development, Taxanders addressed why recent media coverage and political debate must be put into proper context.
Tax Controversy: Building a Watertight Defense
Speakers: Stephen Labrum, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand UK, Alain Recoules, Arsene Taxand France, Angel Calleja, Garrigues Taxand Spain
As governments worldwide seek to maximise tax revenue, controversy risk continues to escalate. Building directly on the case studies in the previous session, this discussion provided practical guidance to deliver effective defense strategies.
The Importance of VAT Today and in the Future
Speaker: Richard Baxter, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand UK
Taxand’s global indirect tax team leader commented on the importance of VAT for the tax leader of the organisation. The session covered the economic background to the world’s VAT systems, the differences between countries which are commercially significant, the key areas of risk and opportunity and considered the debate about the possibility of a U.S. VAT and what that might mean for businesses worldwide if it were ever to be implemented.
Workshop: Demystifying Tax Technology
Clients: Chemtura and Immofinanz
Taxand Tax Technology Speakers: Richard Baxter, Michael Stenftenagel, Stewart Nivison, Jose Lamela, Christoph Kromer,Andrew Burman, John Curry
In the 21st century, every tax professional needs to understand how IT can help them and how it can hurt them. This breakout session, which was run as a client workshop, aimed to demystify the tax technology landscape. With the help of clients who have been through significant changes in their international tax technology environments, leaders of the Taxand Global Technology practice addressed the basics that everyone needs to know, what makes a tax technology project work, the pitfalls for the unwary and the benefits of getting it right first time.
Robert N. Lowe, CEO, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand US, host of our Taxand Global Conference 2013, and Frederic Donnedieu, Chairman, Taxand, thanked our clients and Taxanders for joining us in the Big Apple for yet another successful conference and bid farewell until April 2014 – when our conference will be held in … SHANGHAI !
If you would like to know more about any of these topics please contact our Taxand speakers or your nearest Taxand advisor. If you would like to be considered for an exclusive invitation to our global conference next year in Shanghai or have any general queries your Taxand contact is:
T. +44 20 7715 5243