Asia-Pac Firms Value Tax Certainty Most: Survey

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

26 April 2017

Business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region are placing greater importance on tax certainty, according to an annual survey by Deloitte.

Deloitte’s 2017 Asia Pacific Tax Complexity Survey asked 331 executives from a range of businesses operating in the Asia-Pacific region for their views regarding tax complexity.

In this year’s report, 39 percent of respondents considered high predictability about future developments of tax law as the most important factor in business decision-making. 32 percent of respondents said consistent interpretation and enforcement of tax law is the most important, followed by simple tax rules (29 percent of respondents).

Almost 80 percent of respondents expressed concern about the implementation of BEPS-related measures, a significant increase from 60 percent three years ago, ahead of the measures’ announcement.

Over 90 percent of respondents indicated that reputational risk is given at least some consideration in their businesses’ tax strategy. Almost half of these respondents suggested they have given “a lot” of weight to reputational risk concerns when considering a tax strategy. 75 percent of respondents said they would not enter into a legal tax planning strategy if it is perceived by some to be aggressive, even if the strategy is legal or the tax law did not specifically consider it illegal.

China, India, Australia, Japan, and Singapore are the top-five jurisdictions in which many companies will spend the most time and resources on tax management in the next three years, says the survey. China and India have been the top two jurisdictions on the list since the first survey in 2010.

The survey also found that India and China are perceived as having the most complex reporting requirements in the region, with Hong Kong and Singapore seen as having the simplest.

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