Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

A Board member may ask: How is the tax dept. monitoring daily developments of the OECD, BEPS Actions, European Commission, European Parliament, unilateral country actions, US Congress/Treasury, etc. to assess tax risk in this new era of transfer pricing interpretation?

For example, one University assigned this daily task to one individual who would report his findings for others to follow up.  However, many times this is not a proactive process, especially as new OECD transfer pricing guidelines, and perceptions of what a fair tax should be, develop for implementation in the foreseeable future.  If a tax department is fragmented for responsibilities of different areas (i.e. indirect tax, customs, direct tax, regional tax, country taxes, etc.) or regions, many people may be performing this function specifically to identify developments related to their narrow function.

Best Practice principles should be applied to allow time for planning, creating/revising new systems, interacting with other key stakeholders, etc.  Different tactics may be employed, although avoiding duplication of efforts and integrated communication should be the focus to identify efficiencies in a tax risk framework.  This need should be addressed in the short term, with long-term sustainability elements for new waves of ongoing actions by many interested parties.

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