Taxand at the ITR Asia Tax Executives' Forum 2015
The ITR Asia Tax Executives' Forum returned for the tenth year at The Goodwood Park Hotel on 6 & 7 May in Singapore.
A momentous year for the conference was matched by a similar milestone for international tax rules, with the conclusion of the work to curb base erosion and profit shifting. Outside the BEPS project, perhaps the most significant global development in recent years was the agreement to implement the Common Reporting Stanard as the global standard for automatic exchange of tax information from 2017.
Delegates heard from taxpayers, officials and advisors providing updates on international tax developments taking place outside Asia, while focusing on key matters in the region.
Key pointers from the conference
- Prepare for an era of increased transparency and compliance: with global initiatives such as BEPS and FATCA catalysing increased transparency and reporting requirements, taxpayers must now implement complex internal compliance systems and ensure direct relationships with local authorities
- Ensure a watertight and collective ‘corporate memory’: As country-by-country reporting and exchange of information come into play, MNCs must ensure that they clearly document their commercial purposes and that all key business representatives make them their focus
- Be GST-efficient: As governments across Asia turn to GST to plug local deficits, understanding and planning for the impact of GST at each stage of the supply chain is crucial for taxpayers
- Track local BEPS implementation: As the OECD Actions are deliberated - and unilateral country implementation increases in the short-term – companies should ensure they remain abreast of local interpretation of OECD guidance to manage risk and capitalise on opportunities across Asia and globally
- Find your alternative dispute resolution solution: As we move towards more fiscal transparency and inter-governmental information sharing, we will no doubt see increased cross-border litigation, with a particular focus on TP. Alternative dispute resolution, where possible, should be sought as a swift and more cost-effective method
- Clarify complexity with technology: in-house systems are inextricably linked to tax complexity: companies will need to invest further in internal reporting systems to keep up with compliance requirements and share essential documentation globally
- Manage your ‘tax reputation’: Where the ‘immorality of avoidance’ debate continues and authorities look to alternative communication/the media for company information, companies should prepare and maintain a stringent public communications strategy around their tax activities
- Make tax a concern for every business representative: to mitigate risk and manage tax complexities, taxpayers should have regular company briefings on tax ‘responsibility’ to ensure a consistent public face as well as tax efficiencies across all business operations