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2018 Deloitte Tax Championship: Intelligent innovation for a digital future

Published: 12 November 2018

In its 15th year, the 2018 Deloitte Tax Championship: Intelligent innovation for a digital future, brought together teams from the top universities in Greater China on the 9th to the 11th of November to exchange their knowledge and insights on tax and business, particularly the most recent tax reforms and technology advancements exerting a massive influence in the business world.

After three rounds of spirited competition that showed the best of China's student tax talent, National Chengchi University came out on top, with University of International Business and Economics and Central University of Finance and Economics in second and third place respectively.

Now is a time of unprecedented change in China's tax landscape, with a recently introduced income tax law including measures set to fundamentally change the definition of tax residency and force businesses to consider new potential benefits, liabilities and obligations. In Hong Kong, meanwhile, recent amendments enshrined the OECD's BEPS principles on asset classification and the definition of a "permanent establishment" into local law—another major issue for businesses in the region.

Every year, the Deloitte Tax Championship asks students to show off their knowledge of the tax challenges businesses face and come up with ingenious-yet-workable solutions. This year at the Championship, they were asked to eloquently explain how tax reform can stimulate the economy and business.

Phase I on 26 August was a multiple-choice quiz testing students' knowledge of PRC tax and related regulations. The 13 outstanding teams were then invited to participate in Phase II of the competition on 9-11 November. In Phase II, students are required to make presentations on simulated business cases focusing on their knowledge of international tax, English proficiency and knowledge of advanced technology.

Deloitte China Tax Management National Partner Ms Eunice Kuo shared her insights with students at the Championship on how intelligent innovation can help local businesses benefit amid even the most drastic changes in tax policy.

"The Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area present a vast array of opportunities," she explains. "Alongside recently enhanced super tax deduction policies for cross-border contract R&D expenses and further deductions for small and medium-sized tech companies, they create optimal conditions for foreign investors, especially in the context of technology development In response, we at Deloitte strive to empower our clients with integrated digital solutions across a wide range of business functions.

"Our recently launched campaign 'Pathways to Digital Difference' focuses on various hot topics in today's business world, including AI, fintech, smart city, digital transformation, Industry 4.0, future of retail and future of work. Companies in every industry need digitization to stay ahead of change and boost growth, especially with recent tax reforms in China."

The cases in Phase I of the Deloitte Tax Championship were designed to challenge students' understanding of cutting-edge technologies and their ability to apply theory to practical problem solving. Some of the hot topics they skilfully assimilated included the economic impact of local and international tax reforms, research and development in AI, fintech and renewable energy. This positively embodies Deloitte's 'Digital Difference' talent standard—the ability to offer in-depth, market leading expertise on industry trends including current technological developments, helping enterprises embrace fast-paced growth in the digital age.

Expanding on Eunice's point about economic development, Deloitte China Tax Partner, Co-chairlady of the Deloitte Tax Championship Liang Jie says, "We see a lot of career potential for tax professionals, as their innovative strategies can help businesses stay alert to economic developments in China and the rest of the world.

"Participants in the Tax Championships this year performed exceptionally well. Opening our door to more fresh talent, our program provides students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in real-life business settings and put the tax knowledge and soft skills they have gained through participation in the Championship into practice."

Deloitte hopes students will apply what they learned during the Tax Championship in real business situations, and identify and improve on their strengths to pursue their career ambitions whatever and wherever those ambitions lie.

"At Deloitte, we make nurturing tax talent a top priority by incorporating expert knowledge and advanced technology in our educational experience, so we can better prepare them to thrive in the digital present and future," Eunice Kuo adds.

Making an impact is one of Deloitte's aspirations as a global professional service provider, and we hope to continue doing so through the promotion of tax education and impetus for industry development embodied by the Deloitte Tax Championship. Launched in 2004, the Championship is a key initiative of the Deloitte Research Foundation, promoting education, research and innovation in taxation by supporting an array of national and local programs across Greater China.

Welcome speech by Deloitte China Tax Management National Partner Ms Eunice Kuo
Group photo of top 3 teams
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