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The challenges and opportunities of interim VAT management

01 April 2012

Suddenly finding yourself without a key part of your tax department can be a problem at the best of times, particularly in the middle of a major international merger. Salman Shaheen explores how taxpayers can benefit from interim VAT management in emergency situations and how it differs from companies’ more common experience of secondment.

Most multinational companies are supported by strong indirect tax teams. They will hire secondees from accountancy firms on a temporary basis to plug gaps in their compliance work, but it is a rare and dire set of circumstances that forces them to bring on an entire senior VAT team from a law firm to make the necessary decisions for them.

In his first week at Alvarez & Marsal Taxand (A&M Taxand) in 2008, managing director and leader of the global indirect tax team, Richard Baxter, was sitting at his desk quietly drinking coffee when someone handed him a pile of legal documentation on a real estate transaction for a distressed bank which the firm was managing. Baxter initially thought he would be giving the kind of indirect tax advice he had built his career on, but the work he ended up doing turned out to be very different as he...

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