Technology is redefining the way tax practitioners work beyond compliance

With tax teams becoming less involved in routine compliance functions, modern tax professionals and their environment are increasingly defined by technology, requiring the development of new skills to adapt to changing circumstances. .

That’s the conclusion of a recent study by Deloitte, which found that most routine tax compliance tasks are increasingly funded by resources outside the corporate tax department. Global tax arrangements, transfer pricing documentation, corporation tax returns and payments, indirect tax returns and payments, and statutory accounts have all seen a sharp decline in tax team involvement since 2019.

Without these routine compliance tasks, the study found that tax executives are increasingly busy with technology optimization. When asked what was the top skill they intended to focus on with their teams over the next two years, 45% said data analysis, while 43% mentioned process and technological design. This is likely due to the fact that 65% anticipate increased demand for tax support for digital business models.

These skills, however, are also being developed in preparation for an expected increase in digital tax administration, as 70% of tax officials expect that within the next three to five years, tax authorities will have direct access to at least part of their systems. This means that tax teams have to get used to working with an increasingly transparent tax system; the report acknowledged that this may not be pleasant, but may eventually become necessary.

“Working in a transparent world can feel like being in a glass house. [But] The ability of tax teams to do this will have a significant impact on the reputation and brand perception of their businesses,” the report states.

The study consisted of two surveys of more than 300 tax and finance executives around the world, as well as in-depth interviews with more than 20 tax executives of multinational corporations, as well as several US-based academics.

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