CREW Scores Major Court Victory Against Dark Money“In a major defeat for secret money in politics, a judge ruled that dark money groups that spend at least $250 in independent expenditures—a key type of political ad—must report every contributor who gave at least $200 in the past year as well as those who give to finance independent expenditures generally, throwing out an illegal three decades old regulation that was used to avoid disclosure and changing the legal landscape for political spending. The decision in Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, handed down late on Friday, declares that the law unambiguously commands more disclosure than the FEC has required in 30 years, restoring Congress’s intended full disclosure of those making contributions to groups that fund independent expenditures—ads that explicitly endorse or oppose a candidate for office. “This ruling looks like a major game changer,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said.
Wall Street Journal, Firms Opt to Sell, Not Use, Tax Credits
- Amazon UK tax payment falls to £1.7m (3 Aug 2018)
- Too many bean-counters: How an 'accounting curse' is hurting the UK economy (2 Aug 2018)
- Amazon halved UK corporation tax bill to £4.5m last year (2 Aug 2018)
- Mishcon de Reya complains about UK anti-tax evasion measures (2 Aug 2018)
- E-cigarettes could be taxed for the first time(2 Aug 2018)
- Huge spike in SFO money laundering reports (2 Aug 2018)
- Nevis: The Caribbean's Most Shady and Secretive Tax Haven (2 Aug 2018)
- Scrap council tax - wealthy homeowners must pay more (2 Aug 2018)
- Germany tightens sales tax rules for sites such as eBay and Amazon (2 Aug 2018)
- Wells Fargo Agrees to Pay $2.09 Billion Penalty for Allegedly Misrepresenting Quality of Loans Used in Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (2 Aug 2018)
- US expats hand back passports to avoid tough tax rules (2 Aug 2018)
- Britain faces a simple choice: raise taxes or cut services (2 Aug 2018)
- Jersey Finance paid for IEA report rubbishing 'hotbeds of tax evasion' claims(1 Aug 2018)
- And this what Jersey Inlfuenced The IEA Discussion Paper No. 62: OFFSHORE BET - The benefits of capital mobility (1 Aug 2018)
- UK will act alone against tech firm tax avoidance if global solution falters (1 Aug 2018)
- US Expats Face Hammering From New Tax Rules (1 Aug 2018)
- Germany to crack down on tax evasion via online retailers (1 Aug 2018)
- Apple laughing all the way to the bank – with profits of $5.3m per hour (1 Aug 2018)
- UK government plans to introduce a rule that means the owner has to be living in the property in order to qualify for tax relief for renting out a room in their house (1 Aug 2018)
- UK Big businesses stung by Diverted Profit Tax (DPT) liabilities (1 Aug 2018)
- EU national challenges HMRC over new data sharing rules (1 Aug 2018)
- OECD BEPS: Australia's Hybrid Mismatch Rules—What's Changed? (1 Aug 2018)
- Corporate America Now Knows How to Tally Its Repatriation Taxes (1 Aug 2018)
- Manafort's trial is about Putin, not tax evasion (1 Aug 2018)
Beyond the bandwagon effect: WHY A DIGITAL TAX STRATEGY IS ESSENTIAL FOR CORPORATE AUSTRALIA - by Ghaleon Ong, Product Manager, Thomson Reuters Tax & AccountingThrough the combined pressures of global regulatory reforms (especially, although not exclusively, in taxation reporting and transparency), the rise of the digital marketplace, big data and a "do more with less" approach to profit margins, corporations have had to make significant changes to business processes and platforms. The tax function has not only been swept into this transformation, but, albeit somewhat reluctantly - found itself at the centre.
Change is unavoidable and requires tax departments to rethink technology and its role in the overall strategic plan of the business. Thomson Reuters' 2018 European Tax Technology Survey [Survey (Link)] revealed that tax functions without a digital strategist in their teams were feeling the strain. So I would suggest it's not too big a stretch to say that adopting a digital tax strategy has gone from "bandwagon trendy" to a global business imperative.
TAX AND TECHNOLOGY IN AUSTRALIA
Recently, I had the privilege to present at the Corporate Tax Association (CTA) Convention in Sydney about the current state of play on the Australian tax technology stage.
The Convention provided excellent opportunities to share and hear insights on the status and direction of digital for the corporate tax world, including the ATO on its digital tax strategy and its longer-term plans for proactive digital interaction with corporate taxpayers.
My key takeaways were:
1. Corporates are acutely aware of the evolving tax regulatory and administrative framework surrounding their businesses domestically and internationally, and have therefore implemented tax solutions to address this (in part, as an immediate (some may say knee-jerk) response, but a response nonetheless).
2. However, only a handful have a well-defined digital tax strategy and roadmap in place.
3. Consequently, current adoption of tax technology is disparate, with some areas of tax adopting software solutions (particularly for indirect tax) and others with manual processes and a plethora (and ever-growing collection) of spreadsheets.
4. Alarmingly, many tax functions do not currently have a holistic view (eg documentation and logical mapping) of the processes underpinning the delivery of their tax reporting obligations, creating significant risks including:
1. lack of a comprehensive tax audit trail;
2. "Tax key man" risk - where critical operational knowledge is lost due to staff turnover;
3. task duplication;
4. inefficient/ineffective work flow across the tax function being "under the radar";
5. increasing likelihood of penalty imposition by tax authorities due to a range of factors, including a lack of sufficiently robust, on-demand corroborative data to support tax positions on issues under contention, and late lodgment of tax reports (such as returns and Country-by-Country reports).
5. Yet most corporates have commenced a substantive "health check" of their tax functions (as part of broader finance transformation projects), and are already investigating a range of cutting edge solutions to address these operational gaps, potentially heralding a longer-term shift in the dynamics and roles within the tax function.
DIGITAL ROADMAP FOR SUCCESS
Based on the above, irrespective of where an organisation is currently at in this transformative journey, it might be useful to keep the following in mind:
1. Define the end-game: Is the corporation seeking to simply achieve efficiencies around the delivery of its tax compliance obligations? Or does it want to do more with its transactional data (eg business intelligence and data mining) flowing from indirect tax determination workflows as part of a broader transformation project?
2. Know the workflow process(map and document!): Corporations should ensure they have full visibility over each component of their workflow, empowering them to identify redundant, repetitive and manual processes (eg data cleansing, manipulation, validation and mapping) for rationalisation and / or automation.
3. Know what solutions are available: From bolt-on tax software suites (such as Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE), ERP customisations (eg integrated indirect tax determination engines) to intelligent automation solutions (as highlighted by my co-presenter, Michael Flanderka, Data Interactive), there are myriad options to choose from, and certainly no one-size fits all solution. Corporations should select the one which aligns with their circumstances (eg budget, risk appetite, ability to deliver).
4. Take the tax team on the journey: Corporations should communicate, earn the buy-in and upskill tax team members most affected by these changes. Without their support, any transformative projects merely sit on foundations of sand.
With the changes that have already taken place, and those in the pipeline, there will be no stopping tax administrators, global markets, and technological-driven change. So, for corporate Australia, the message is clear - it's time to join the digitisation train before it leaves the station - as I said at the outset, adopting a digital tax strategy is now a global business imperative.