Switzerland: The Swiss tax function of tomorrow
International Tax Review is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Switzerland: The Swiss tax function of tomorrow


André Claes

David McNeil

Sarah Drye

The evolution of the global tax environment is forcing international tax functions to consider new and innovative ways of effective management. Deloitte recently conducted a survey of more than 50 Swiss groups (http://goo.gl/1znlvd) related to how they manage their tax affairs, specifically addressing the impact of the OECD's Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS) project on tax management.

The majority of respondents expect BEPS to increase their compliance burden (79%) and their time spent on audit (68%). The interest from other stakeholders has also increased, with many respondents (55%) having been asked to justify their tax strategy within the previous 12 months.

Despite the increase in efforts required, the majority of respondents (69%) did not expect headcount to increase as a result of BEPS. As such, the tax function will need to transform its operating methodology to meet these new challenges.

Successfully navigating the new global tax environment is expected to affect the competencies required within the tax function. Our survey also highlighted two areas where development could be undertaken to enhance the capabilities of the tax function: enhanced use of technology solutions and involving shared service centres to a greater extent in tax processes.

The competencies required in managing tax are evolving

Our 2016 survey showed that in terms of valued competencies in the management of the tax function, strong communication and project management skills as well as broad finance and accounting skills have gained in importance compared to our previous survey. This reflects the increasing need to be able to analyse and articulate the impact of tax risks and tax strategic decisions to the wide stakeholder group the tax function currently has. These are skills that are expected to increase in importance as the impact of BEPS and related transparency initiatives are felt.

Technology solutions

Tax technology tools and integrated tax data systems still remain underused in Switzerland, with only a minority of respondents having a central data store for group-wide tax information (31%) or using bespoke or off-the-shelf tax technology solutions to calculate direct tax positions (33%). Given the preference for decentralisation in Swiss organisations, technology solutions (including integrated data systems or tax-specific technology tools) can be an excellent compromise between obtaining control and oversight while retaining responsibilities locally.

Shared service centres

While the majority of respondents had a shared service centre in their organisation (70%), few used it to support direct tax compliance (17%) or transfer pricing activities (23%). Many organisations successfully operate these tax processes from shared service centres, which should not be overlooked as a potential tool in future tax function transformation.

Based on the results of our survey and the rapidly changing environment, we expect Swiss tax functions to undergo a rapid transformation over the next 12 to 36 months to meet the new demands and challenges placed upon it. These are exciting times!

André Claes (anclaes@deloitte.ch); David McNeil (damcneil@deloitte.ch); and Sarah Drye (sdrye@deloitte.ch)

Deloitte Switzerland

Tel: + 32 2 600 66 70 and +41 58 279 8193

Website: www2.deloitte.com/ch/en.html

more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

The ‘big four’ firm has threatened to legally pursue those behind the letter, which has been circulating on social media
The guidelines have been established in the wake of multiple tax scandals and controversies that have rocked the accounting profession
KPMG Netherlands’ former head of assurance also received a permanent bar and $150,000 fine; in other news, asset management firm BlackRock lost a $13.5bn UK tax appeal
The new, fully integrated office will also offer M&A, dispute resolution, IP and corporate tax services
The new guidance concerns a recent 1% excise tax on the repurchases of corporate stock for both US and certain foreign companies
Interpath has hired a managing partner from rival accounting firm BDO to lead the new operation
Survey results of over 28,000 in-house lawyers reveal that American in-house counsel place a higher value on the reputation of external advisers than their peers elsewhere
In an exclusive interview with ITR, Andrew Leigh also endorsed new legislation designed to prevent multinationals using complex corporate structures to reduce taxes
Nick Crama and Parwesh Bissumbhar, senior director and manager respectively at Alvarez & Marsal, outline practical advice for real estate managers to comply with DAC6 regulations
The finalists for the 13th annual awards revealed
Gift this article