THE INTERNATIONAL TAX SPECIALIST GROUP
By: Euney Marie J. Mata-Perez on November 1, 2018
We just attended the 2018 World Conference of the International Tax Specialist Group (ITSG) held in the beautiful Rosewood Hotel in Beijing last Oct.r 24-26, 2018.
The conference was attended by around 80 tax specialists and advisers from all over the world.
The ITSG network provides high quality, practical, and creative international tax advice on a worldwide basis. It has members in some 50 countries around the world.
Each ITSG member is highly experienced in international tax planning and is recognized as such by his or her peers. Members join the group “by invitation” after working successfully with other members.
A world conference is held annually where ITSG members renew and validate relationships. In 2016, our firm was invited to become a Philippine member of the network. Since then, we have attended the ITSG global conferences (2016 in Munich, Germany and 2017 in Amsterdam, Netherlands).
The ITSG 2018 World Conference brought together panels of brilliant speakers.
On the first day, panel discussions were held on transfer pricing, development on BEPS (based erosion and profit shifting initiatives of the OECD), international entertainers, estate planning and trusts.
The Secretary General of the China Tax Consultants’ Association also spoke and shared on how tax consultants in China are equipping themselves with skills to face the developments in technology in China.
Panel discussions were also held on China’s personal and corporate tax systems, forms of business organization, international tax issues, value-added tax, exchange controls, tax disputes and transfer pricing.
Discussions were conducted mostly by partners of ZhongHui Certified Tax Agents Co., Ltd., a firm which is present in more than 20 cities in China and has more than 2,000 professionals in its helm.
We learned that the SAT or the China Tax Authorities has more than 700 thousand revenue examiners in its employ, which is a great number compared to the approximately 10,000 examiners our BIR has.
Tax reform priorities of China were also discussed.
Other topics included European tax updates, Asian tax updates (where our partner, Atty. Mark Anthony Tamayo, gave the overview of the Philippine tax reform and developments), low tax jurisdictions (such as Labuan, Singapore, Hongkong and Macau), and what we need to know about the complex US tax reform system.
A panel also discussed the anti-abuse rules in various forms and places, such as in the EU and the US.
There was also a panel which discussed very interesting issues and challenges, and shared experiences in handling very high profile individuals in the UK and Israel.
Further, a presentation was made on India’s VAT refund system. We learned that in India, taxpayers file their claims for VAT refund and upload supporting documents online and are able to obtain refunds in 30 days!
With this electronic filing system, the Indian government could check the input VAT source by way of matching. This forced suppliers to register as VAT taxpayers, thereby increasing the VAT tax base. Our BIR has a lot to learn from India on this.
Lastly, a lively discussion and debate were held on taxpayer’s right to privacy and the privilege information between taxpayers and their consultants, which are being eroded in various jurisdictions around the world.
Globalization, coupled with more complexity of tax laws and aggressiveness of tax authorities, has increased the demand for international tax services.
Even though governments are actively seeking or encouraging foreign investments by means of attractive tax laws and incentives, revenue authorities have nonetheless become more aggressive in attacking international and local tax structures.
As tax consultants or advisers, we have no choice but to be aware of these international issues and trends to better advice and protect our clients. We are thus grateful to be part of the ITSG network and be able to share knowledge and information with very experienced and even esteemed tax consultants from all over the world.
You may check the ITSG network at www.itsgnetwork.com.
Euney Marie J. Mata-Perez is a CPA-Lawyer and the Managing Partner of Mata-Perez, Tamayo & Francisco (MTF Counsel). She is a corporate, M&A and tax lawyer. She is the newly-elected President of the Asia-Oceana Tax Consultants’ Association.
This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you have any question or comment regarding this article, you may email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit MTF Counsel’s website at www.mtfcounsel.com
From The Manila Times website on November 1, 2018