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Tax World Vision 2021: Asia-Pacific

Oleg Rak, managing partner of Mason Rak, discusses the growth of strategic tax opportunities across the Asia-Pacific market, as it prepares itself for the post-COVID world.

As tax leaders and professionals across the globe consider the tax landscape of 2021 and beyond, the question of how to successfully navigate a post-COVID world is at the forefront of every imaginable plan. Jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region are recovering from the pandemic exceptionally quickly – specifically, China, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore and Vietnam – which have made astounding strides in stabilising and boosting their respective economies.

Analysts at Mason Rak anticipate that countries across the Asia-Pacific will emulate China’s response, making it the first area to truly experience the post-COVID era for which tax leaders and key decision-makers are trying to prepare.

Asia-Pacific’s new challenges and opportunities

The Asia-Pacific faces many challenges as it enters 2021 and a post-pandemic era. Mason Rak’s market intelligence has deduced that, across Southeast Asia, tax authorities will become bolder in challenging transfer pricing arrangements as governments consider themselves to have limited fiscal headroom to pay back their pandemic borrowing by levying new taxes. Additionally, in the Asia-Pacific, a combination of tightening regulations and new revenue-raisers will complicate compliance issues and will require excellent planning in tax teams. These new tasks will pose strategic challenges for firms across the region. Forward-thinking professional services firms are already focussing on how to gain a competitive edge.

While many accountancy and law firms have implemented hiring freezes, dynamic firms understand that they need tax specialists who are ahead of tax changes instigated by COVID-19. Business growth does not have to stop just because the pandemic has presented new obstacles – through the strategic acquisition of new talent, firms can use this time as an opportunity to restructure their tax teams and ensure that they have the best expertise to hand. Top firms across the Asia-Pacific will need to understand this concept if they aim to thrive in a new era. 

Strategic growth in Indonesia 

The time is now for firms to act, ensuring that they have the best tax talent to drive business growth through an unprecedented era. One forward-thinking global professional services firm recently retained Mason Rak to expand their international tax operations. The assignment was challenging, as the firm wanted to hire an experienced international tax partner who had the ability to drive business growth, and the specialised skills to deal with unique challenges of the Indonesian market.

Mason Rak not only had to find someone with this skill set, but also someone who would be interested in moving to Indonesia, as the client preferred an expat professional with a solid understanding of the local market. While many regions in the Asia-Pacific, such as Hong Kong SAR and Singapore, are extremely popular for overseas opportunities, Indonesia presents fantastic opportunities to tap into vibrant emerging territories.

Of course, a career move must be considered in holistic terms. After conducting a thorough search, one individual stood out. However, alongside the candidate, the challenges associated with relocating from Europe with a family had to be considered. Taking into account the candidate’s specific motivating drivers and aspirations, Mason Rak’s proven methodology involved many detailed discussions with both parties and eventually led to a job offer.

After the acceptance, the client benefitted from the acquisition of a high-calibre tax professional, who successfully built a leading international tax practice. His expertise has enabled the further growth of their tax operation in Indonesia. 

This is just one example of successful growth through the strategic acquisition of senior tax talent in the Asia-Pacific. This is the approach that will enable firms across the region to use this time period as an opportunity to restructure, reorganise, and ultimately drive business growth. 

Mason Rak are dedicated search specialists, and trusted advisors to professional services firms who are looking to strategically grow their tax business and acquire senior tax talent, including partners and world-class teams.

Mason Rak is a global specialist tax search firm, who operate extensively across all key global markets. The firm executes some of the most challenging strategic tax search assignments and acts as a trusted advisor to accountancy and law firms around the world. If you would like to learn more about the global market and strategic leadership opportunities, please contact the author. 

Oleg Rak 
T: +44 786 911 3281

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