By 2020, how an asset management firm deals with tax risk will be viewed as a competitive advantage or disadvantage. Investors will expect robust and efficient tax infrastructure and will have minimal tolerance of tax uncertainty or tax adjustments. As a result, tax will be a key operational and business activity, requiring specialist resources, a new approach and integration into front, back and middle office activities. So what will be the drivers for this new global tax world? And how will investment firms transform to meet these challenges as the industry becomes an even more significant part of the financial services sector?
"By 2020 tax and reputation will be inseparable concepts. Taxes will be viewed as an operational risk, joining the ranks of other key risks which senior management takes a keen interest in, and one that needs a strategically planned risk management programme integrated into all aspects of their business operations."
Asset managers will respond by dispersing their strategic tax resources throughout their business operations to give front, middle and back office staff access to real-time expertise. The in-house tax team will have developed to deal with perpetual audits and to engage with tax authorities on a frequent basis to influence policy and help guide the implementation of tax rules.
The tax function of the future
As a result of these considerable changes to the tax environment, the tax function in 2020 and beyond will be significantly different from what we know today. The tax function will play a key role in the day-to-day management of operational risks and will no longer only deliver compliance and make tax technical assessments. The assessment of complex data and its implication in business and product development decisions will be the new normal. Consequently, the profile and composition of the tax function will have changed. It will be critical for asset managers to decide to what extent they want to rely on internal sources.
Global FS and Asset & Wealth Management Tax leader, Partner, PwC United States
Tel: +1 (646) 471 2780
Asia Pacific Tax Leader Financial Services, Asset & Wealth Management, PwC Hong Kong
Tel: + 2289 1833
Laurent de La Mettrie
EMEA Asset Management Tax Leader
Tel: +352 49 48 48 3007