A new normal for tax
For a while now, KPMG International's Tax Summits have aimed to identify the financial, political and social trends that are most likely to impact on tax professionals.
Back in 2010, in Prague, we predicted that tax would find itself increasingly in the media spotlight. In 2011, we predicted that the “fair tax” debate would move up the political agenda, as indeed it has. Last year, in Vienna, via our theme of “shifting sands”, we foresaw increased volatility in the international tax landscape. We were right again: this past year has been exceptionally challenging for those of us who manage tax affairs for multinationals.
So where next for international business tax?
Looking ahead, our view of 2013 and beyond is that the mega-trends that have driven recent change will remain powerful forces, still to play out. For governments, fiscal pressure will likely persist. Increased globalization, calls for transparency and the digitization of business models continue to impact on the tax environment. Media and public interest in tax shows no sign of waning. The way tax issues are debated and resolved has almost certainly changed for all time. The clock is not about to turn back for tax professionals. There is a New Tax Normal and we must all learn to adapt to its new challenges.
At this year’s Summit, moderated by ITN journalist and newscaster Mary Nightingale, we will take this New Normal as a given, so that we can move the debate on, and ask the questions that matter:
How does this New Normal affect tax policy makers and those managing tax strategies for international businesses? How can we mitigate risk in a world with so many unwritten rules? How is value to be created? How should corporations engage and communicate with their stakeholders, given that this new era is here to stay?
To help us to navigate these and other questions, in the plenary sessions, we will be joined by commentators and expert guests, including Gideon Rachman (Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator for The Financial Times), Michael Sell (Director General of the Tax Directorate, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany), Richard Parry (Head of Global Relations in the OECD's Centre for Tax Policy and Administration), Nicolas Colin, (Author of Tax Report commissioned by the French Government) and Robert Phillips (Head of Chambers at Jericho Chambers; Author and Visiting Professor, Cass Business School. London and former EMEA President and CEO of Edelman).
These speakers, from very different walks of professional life, will help us to shine a light on all aspects of the New Tax Normal, providing delegates with a rich mixture of analysis and actionable insights.
As in previous years, senior KPMG professionals will moderate key sessions. Joining them on stage will be senior tax professionals from organizations such as Daimler Group, Telefónica Group, Vistaprint N.V. and Siemens AG. We will also hear from other experts via specially commissioned films, such as Alastair Campbell (Author and former Communications Director to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair).
To complete the Summit experience, there are a wide range of optional break-out sessions to choose from, as well as plenty of opportunities to network informally with KPMG professionals, other delegates and guest speakers. In addition, there will be an opportunity to attend some specific Financial Services and Global Transfer Pricing Forums.
2013 marks a tipping point for tax professionals. There are new realities to accept, and new skills and sensitivities to refine in a potentially hostile media environment. At our Summit, we will catalogue these emerging challenges and focus on positive, practical strategies for the future.
We look forward to meeting you in Berlin.
Head of Tax for KPMG’s EMA Region