ACCA Sri Lanka event considers tax response to economic conditions
KPMG global head of tax calls for more collaboration and less confrontation
22 Dec 2009
The response of tax authorities to the current global economic conditions was the subject of a recent CFO/CEO breakfast meeting jointly organised by ACCA Sri Lanka and KPMG.
In his presentation to delegates at the event on 4 December, Loughlin Hickey, KPMG's global head of tax, emphasised the need for corporate institutions and industry to maintain a healthy and strong dialogue with tax authorities, which would help keep tax reforms more aligned to business objectives.
Loughlin explained that a move away by tax authorities and taxpayers from a confrontational to a more open relationship is essential, as is a greater investment in:
- tax authorities - to help invest in skills and technologies to have a more effective relationship with taxpayers, and
- corporate taxpayers - to provide assurance to the authorities that there is a process to manage risk and ensure compliance.
Describing some of the significant historic developments in the evolution of tax systems, Loughlin highlighted lessons that have been learnt, explaining the importance of transitioning from a compliance-driven to a performance-driven environment that is mutually beneficial to the national economy, as well as the private enterprise and individuals that operate within the economy.
Delegates responded positively to the meeting, with Ajith Tudawe, chairman and chief executive of Ceylon Hospitals Plc, commending Loughlin Hickey's presentation for 'providing food for thought for all who attended the meeting'.
'A taxation structure that is conducive to the business environment is critical as it would attract further investment resulting in economic activity that could offer more potential for greater income for the government,' he said.