The annual World Tax directory, which can be found at www.itrworldtax.com, is a key resource in assisting tax executives locate specialist advice. It rates the tax expertise offered in more than 50 jurisdictions globally, giving tax executives the most comprehensive information about the tax advisory market. Firms are ranked according to their depth of tax knowledge and the quality of their service, after an intensive five-month research period by staff across three continents.
Across the jurisdictions covered (excluding the US, which is split into six regions), PwC performed the best – appearing more than 50 times in tier 1 of the rankings. Deloitte and EY followed closely, being ranked in the top tier 44 and 42 times, respectively.
However, the Big 4 firms did not completely dominate the top positions. They failed to get a foothold in tier 1 in France, where Bredin Prat, CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre and new tier 1 entrant Arsene Taxand, Taxand France were the top firms. In Italy, BonelliErede and Maisto e Associati once again triumphed in the top tier.
|ITR subscribers and firms which advertised in the guide received hard copies of World Tax in October|
World Tax is unique as it classifies professional services, law firms and other tax advice providers together, rather than looking at them separately, because they undoubtedly compete for work. The fact that this competition exists is also evident in the regular moves that practitioners make between law firms and other providers. It is common for advisers to switch between law firms and Big 4 firms during their careers.
New jurisdictions and global trends
In this year’s edition we were delighted to include a new jurisdiction, Thailand. The country’s tax market is going through a particularly exciting period, with a major tax reform underway and the corporate tax rate having dropped by 10 percentage points in the past five years. Top firms in the jurisdiction were Baker & McKenzie, the Big 4 firms and LawAlliance.
Globally, the biggest trend continues to be the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, which has undoubtedly been the biggest driver of policy change. Some countries are implementing the recommendations in full, while others are putting into place only the minimum requirements called for by the OECD. Several jurisdictions are waiting to see how the BEPS plan will progress before committing to any action, and others already have legislation which fits – or exceeds – the OECD’s recommendations.
TP Week, International Tax Review's online-only sister publication about transfer pricing, published its own directory about advisers, lawyers and providers in that market.
www.worldtransferpricing.com offers a comprehensive guide on advisers specialising in this area.
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