As tax professionals charged with managing the complex tax operations of today’s multinationals, success used to require an undaunting focus on tax: staying current with federal, state and international tax laws, finding and implementing creative ways to apply those laws in order to reduce global taxation, identifying and managing the related tax risks and rigorously defending the company’s tax positions. Accounting and reporting of global income taxes was simply an annual task, almost an afterthought and often not a strong skill of tax executives.
With SOX, that world was overturned. For now, the pendulum has swung for the global tax executive. Where he/she could hide in the corner office and focus solely on designing and implementing tax structures to minimize global income taxes, now he/she is more visible to the CFO, CEO and Audit Committee and must focus on accurately accounting for income taxes and the internal controls surrounding this process. Talk about night and day. It’s no longer just the world of IRC section 482, 904(f), 861 allocations, check-the-box and listed transactions. It’s now about ASC 740 (FAS 109), FAS 5, SAB 99 and how to accurately account and report the affect of their company’s global income tax position.
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