Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Jeremy Hirschhorn Making Better As Usual Moves: Marathon Runner and Chess Czech Mate

ATO second commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn has warned the four firms – Deloitte, EY (the former Ernst & Young) KPMG and PwC – that they need to rein in “hired gun” and “guru” tax partners that come up with overly aggressive tax schemes that are technically legal but represent a risk to the taxation base.
~ A quote from an article in AFR

“I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.” 
– Marcel Duchamp

Nota chess like beneSunday's 20200202: The previous universal palindrome day was over 908 years ago! The next such day is over 101 years away!

CEO Ages at Hire

This is a profound trend. The average age of incoming CEOs for S&P 500 companies has increased about 14 years over the last 14 years.
From 1980 to 2001 the average age of a CEO dropped four years and then from 2005 to 2019 the averare incoming age of new CEOs increased 14 years!
This means that the average birth year of a CEO has not budged since 2005. The best predictor of becoming a CEO of our most successful modern institutions?
Being a baby boomer.

Reflections on being a large market tax adviser
Second Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn delivered this paper to large market tax advisory firms during July-September 2019.

A management shake-up at the Australian Taxation Office after the retirement of second commissioner Neil Olesen will leave the top three positions filled by tax practitioners hailing from private sector advisory firms for the first time in the agency's history.  
Mr Olesen's looming exit on November 30 after 35 years as a tax office insider was announced internally to ATO staff this week. Former KPMG partner Jeremy Hirschhorn, who is currently responsible for enforcing tax compliance by large companies, will be elevated from ATO deputy commissioner to acting second commissioner. 
He will join commissioner of taxation and former KPMG partner and policeman, Chris Jordan, and former Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills partner turned second commissioner, Andrew Mills, at the top of the ATO.

Having a media-handling strategy is dangerous, according to Jeremy Hirschhorn, the second commissioner for client engagement at the Australian Taxation Office. 
He said strategic media management was risky because it encouraged “spin” and suggested companies instead adopt a strategy for “doing the the right thing transparently”, in a speech at Thursday’s CFO Live conference. 

Savielly Tartakowe once wrote “Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do; strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.”   

In the context of the quote the ATO and a so-called tax gap come to mind: 

Mr Hirschhorn said gap measuring forced the ATO to ask itself: “How much are we not collecting and why?”
This was different to the traditional approach of asking how efficient the ATO was at collecting money — “how many audit results you got for per dollar you spent”.
“An analogy is if you had WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) at the Olympics being rewarded on how many drug cheats they catch, not how clean the Olympics are,” Mr Hirschhorn said. “They’re slightly but importantly different questions. In fact, what people, whether spectators or clean participants, are interested in is a clean Olympics, not how many drug cheats are caught.
“What tax gap forces you as a revenue authority to think about is not how many you’re catching but how many you’re not catching, and why, and then maximising your strategies, especially prevention strategies, to have a clean Olympics.”
The ATO’s confidence in a lower gap in future has been bolstered because as it resolves disputes with taxpayers it is “resolving not just the back years, we’re locking in the future price”, Mr Hirschhorn said.
“We’re solving the disputes before they even happen,” he said.

Tax office did not go to police over fears wealthy would be kidnapped – inquiry | Australia news | The Guardian
22 Sep 2015 The deputy commissioner of the ATO, Jeremy Hirschhorn, said the agency had not contacted the ... 
Directors need to ensure they are aware of their company's tax decisions or risk more audits from the tax office, as Hall & Wilcox Tax Partner Peter Murrayexplains. This doesn't mean directors need to be tax experts, but there can be a huge disconnect between what boards think is happening with their company's tax affairs and what is actually happening. This is a point Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn makes in a recent article in the Australian Financial Review  
Directors in the dark about tax decisions Jeremy Hirchhorn  

ATO Twitter: Jeremy Hirschhorn & Matthew Hay joined a panel discussion with , Richard Owen  & Karen Lay-Brew at in Brisbane today. They discussed  &  for  & 

  Jeremy Hirschhorn Via Bloomberg

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Brand integrity is paramount in a society that demands companies to be accountable, responsible and, most importantly, authentic