Want to future-proof your skills? Better brush up on Digital Tax


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Simon Thorp, ATI, Partner at KPMG in Sydney is presenting in the International stream at The Tax Summit 2020. Here he tells us what he is most looking forward to at the event.

Simon has over 25 years’ experience working predominantly with technology, telecommunications and media companies. He has worked with an array of multinational businesses and now spends most of his time assisting emerging Australian technology businesses globalising their operations.

We asked him what he is excited about at The Tax Summit.

“It’s a wonderful program,” he says.

“I’m chopping and changing between the streams because of how many great topics there are.

“Being able to get so many different views through the breadth of sessions, is what I’m really looking forward to.


He explains that it’s not just the technical side of the event he is looking forward to.

“I’m excited to catch up with former colleagues, industry experts, specialists and contacts throughout the profession. There's going to be plenty of opportunities to network.”

Simon's Session - Session 9.4: Taxing the digital economy – the end of the (tax) world as we know it?

For years, governments have struggled to find the best way to tax the profits of globally-agile multinational businesses to ensure those businesses pay the appropriate amount of tax, in every country where profits are generated.

We are arguably still a long way from reaching a consensus view in this area. Meanwhile, countries including Australia have taken unilateral action to ensure they don’t lose out in the short-to-medium term.

In Simon’s session at The Tax Summit, he will address the current landscape in this area of tax, global organisations, what the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries (OECD’s) are up to and unilateral actions from different countries and tax jurisdictions.


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What will the future digital tax landscape look like?

We asked him about the specific challenges that are facing practitioners in this disruptive sector.

“The attitudes of the regulator and what happens as that changes,” Simon begins.

“Not only the Australian regulator, but with so many businesses now being part of global activities, you must consider the attitudes of the regulator in the different jurisdictions that the businesses you're working with are operating in.

“When you sign up to be a tax practitioner, you know you're going to be dealing with change.”

He explains that the pace of that change and how quickly practitioners can get on top of key issues, is a fundamental challenge for those in tax. It’s the expectation from clients on turnaround, but also on the certainty of the opinions that professionals provide.

Simon told us how he thinks practitioners can best tackle these challenges on a daily basis.

“You need a disciplined approach to your education,” he says.

“Set aside some time each day to bring yourself up to speed with what’s going on in the tax marketplace that day.

“Working with colleagues or industry groups and coming up with different views, whether it's a tax discussion group or attending a Tax Institute forum to understand and get on top of the issues.”

Why you should register for The Tax Summit 2020

We asked Simon how he thinks attending The Tax Summit will benefit tax practitioners.

“There's so much learning under one roof,” he says.

“All the presentations offer relevant and valuable practical insights.

“In three days you could walk away having interacted with tax experts and obtain different insights in the latest thinking.”

Simon says there will be over a thousand fellow professionals there, so the potential for making positive and valuable connections is endless.

“I'm always a great believer in serendipity. It's a wonderful thing. Being in that environment with so many great people will lead to great connections and a great vibe for those who put themselves out there and get exposed to it,” he says.

“It may well be that you end up meeting someone who could be in your team in the future, or a new employment opportunity because of the connection you've made.

“Or connections with the regulator that allow you to understand their approach and offer those insights to your client.

“It's a great opportunity.”

Simon’s message for tax leadersStand out MREC_Tax leader LP-1

Simon believes that with such a varied program and great array of speakers, there is a fantastic opportunity for leaders to utilise the event as a training opportunity and involve the whole team.

“The flexibility around registering and the ability to bring teams to different parts of the event means you shouldn't just look at it as a three-day program,” he begins.

“There is great flexibility, look at it from a team perspective and how the way in which it's structured means that you can get different members of the team involved in different ways.”

And the non-tax related reason that Simon is excited to attend?

“The event gets off to a great start with the welcome event at the Maritime Museum. That's one of my favourite museums. I'm a Sydneysider and I love the sea. And so that will be tremendous.”

The Tax Institute is combining two flagship events (National Convention and The NSW Tax Forum) into what will become the most significant tax program for tax and accounting professionals in the region.

This event is one members and non-members alike won’t want to miss. This is ground zero for our profession; the central point from which everything else revolves around.

There will be more than 60 sessions delivered by local and global tax experts, across SME, Corporate and Hot Topic streams. The Tax Summit also includes keynote sessions and four new streams: Professional Practice, Emerging Leaders, International and Technology.

Not to mention National Convention’s hugely popular networking events, the Welcome Reception, and Gala Dinner featuring The Tax Adviser of the Year Awards.

Register now.


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