COVID-19: Navigating a Tax function through the crisis

In a special report, Ronan Ferry of Deloitte Ireland explores the practical actions that tax functions can adopt as part of an overall strategy to respond to Covid-19, recover from its consequences and thrive in its wake


During this Covid-19 pandemic, we are experiencing mass disruption to supply chains, businesses, and markets. We also find ourselves navigating unprecedented circumstances as our professional and personal lives are severely impacted.

Notwithstanding this, tax departments need to continue operating in an efficient, effective, and impactful way so that meeting obligations and bringing value to the business do not suffer.

For those working in tax, whether in industry or practice, we were already encountering a period of constant complex change as historic global and local tax measures are being enforced to deal with the new world economy and ‘digital’ business models.

These challenges come in many forms from the OECD’s BEPS initiatives, US tax reform, EU tax directives, unilateral actions, and tax audit activity. While these new measures vary across countries, they all carry one common theme – increased transparency and stricter reporting requirements requiring tax departments to have access to more data, do more with that data and do it faster. Tax functions were beginning to adapt to what they thought was this ‘new norm’ but, with Covid-19, we now find ourselves asking ‘what is the new norm?’

Below are steps which tax functions can adopt now to ensure they respond strategically in the current crisis, but also, as we hopefully begin to revert to normal, whatever that ‘norm’ may be, to create a platform to recover and build the foundation for a transformational mind-set to thrive in the future.

First published in the Business Post on April 22, 2020

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