With the Tax Office changing its approach to engaging with businesses, Thomson Reuters regional lead for strategic alliances and global firms, Hydar Al Ammar, said that he has seen businesses begin to reach out to better understand how to improve their overall tax governance framework.
“What we’re seeing in the marketplace across the board is the increase in ATO activity around tax governance, and tax governance is really trying to reveal the overall framework that corporations have around assessing their tax risks and tax exposures,” Mr Al Ammar said.
“What we’re seeing is the ATO no longer just trying to ensure that it is accurate; i.e. what amounts they are receiving is accurate but understanding the methodology to get there.
“Because of that, we are seeing organisations, particularly those in the top 1000, which are being targeted for their tax governance reviews, are reaching out to evaluate and to understand how does tax technology help improve their overall tax governance framework, and the particular focus that we’ve seen is around indirect tax.”
The increased demand has seen mid-tier firm Grant Thornton partner with Thomson Reuters by implementing its ONESOURCE suite within its tax practice.
“Indirect tax, particularly because of the large volume of data that is coming through from many different systems, poses a real challenge for the head of tax and the tax team,” he said.
“Finance transformations have been taking place for a number of years and now it’s the tax team’s turn.
“We’ve formed this partnership because we’ve seen a spate of quite large transformation activities taking place in these corporations.
“The compelling event now is the ATO, and the ATO is driving this activity. It is no longer a nice [activity] to have but an expectation from the ATO and that is the key driver.”