This position is responsible for the overall effective tax planning and risk management of the Middle East and Africa region plus some countries in the AP region. The position will ensure that tax opportunities are optimized and tax risks well managed in a sub-region with different tax systems, levels of sophistication of the tax authorities and business environment.
Key Responsibilities are:
-Stewardship & compliance: overall responsibility for tax provision and statutory compliance which includes the following key areas:
(i)ensuring a robust process is in place for partnering the Finance function in the timely completion of tax provisions and ensuring the provisions are adequate;
(ii)working with the Finance function and external consultants for the timely completion and filing of tax returns and other compliance requirements where opportunities are optimized and tax risks areas are adequately addressed e.g. recommendation of a tax reserve to cover the amount at risk for a position taken in the tax return;
(iii)ensure adequate defense documentation is in place to support the positions taken in the tax return; and
(iv)management of tax audits and development of strategies in closing the audits that is in the best interests of the Company.
-Business support: Be a business partner with business units and other functions to deliver solutions that are tax efficient and at the same time meet their business objectives. This includes the review and provision of tax input on potential/new business cases, contracts, policies and guidelines. Examples - where the standard tax terms and clauses are not acceptable by the other contracting party, help the business team to craft terms that will be a win-win for both parties; and proposing changes to contracts/structures of deals that will result in tax savings or minimize tax compliance requirements. Participate in due diligence work for M&A initiatives.
-Tax Planning: Work with the SBL to develop and implement tax planning projects for the sub-region and be a major contributor in regional/global projects.
(i) Provide support to the SBL in keeping the management and business partners abreast of tax developments that may have potential impact on their business objectives including conducting tax training as appropriate; and
(ii) Independently and effectively manage relationship with internal business partners and external parties such as outside counsel and government agencies for the sub-region.
•Based on the Tax function’s regional/global objectives, set priorities and develop action plans for the sub-region in the areas of stewardship and compliance, business support and tax planning. Is also responsible to ensure the successful completion of the action plans. For example, he/she may set as a priority the conduct of GST/VAT healthchecks in the area of stewardship and compliance to ensure that the current process is robust and there’s minimal tax exposure if audited by the tax authorities. An action plan will have to be developed to conduct the healthchecks, solicit buy-in from the Finance function as support is needed from them, and work independently with Finance and outside tax consultants (where necessary), to successfully complete the action plan.
•Identify opportunities and develop plans to use resources efficiently and effectively for the sub-region. For example:
(i)Train the business partners on the critical tax issues to consider in negotiating and structuring deals, and developing a checklist for their use. This will avoid recurring issues and help the tax review process to be more efficient;
(ii)Identify areas where recurring and more routine pieces of work such as review of A&M contracts can be effectively outsourced so that internal resources can be better utilized for higher value add work such as tax planning projects; and
(iii)Review engagement arrangements with external tax counsels and based on mandate agreed with Senior Business Leader, directly negotiate on fees to ensure that professional fee budget is optimized.
•Requires very strong analytical skills to understand the business background, identify the potential tax risk/opportunity areas, map out different options, evaluate the pros and cons of each option and make the risk assessment in making the final recommendation.
•Requires strategic thinking in dealing with external parties, in particular, tax authorities and other related government agencies.
•A strong knowledge of the tax law and practice, and the latest tax developments in the countries in the sub-region as well as the US. Also requires a in-depth knowledge of international tax principles and concepts to be able to assess if advice given by outside consultants is sound.
•A strong ability to connect the dots between business/other non- tax considerations and application of different tax law and practice in recommending tax efficient solutions.
Communication & Impact & Influence
•Required to have frequent high level interactions both internally and externally.
•Internally, would communicate directly with Business Leader and above at least 80% of the time in understanding business arrangements and in giving tax input on issues, contracts and deals to influence desired outcomes.
•Externally, would communicate with senior managers and partners of consulting firms about 80% to 90% of the time in defining scope of tax engagements, negotiation of fees and in the performance of the engagements. Would also be required to communicate with tax and other government agencies on issues/incentives and influences internal stakeholders on desired outcomes.
• Regional plus global/international tax knowledge is required. Would have to ensure that tax positions/decisions taken for the sub-region is consistent with our global tax strategy and company policies, and would not create any undue tax/business risk outside the country/region.
At 10 to 15 years of tax experience in public accounting and/or industry.
•Holds tertiary qualification, professional certification (CPA) preferred.
• Competent in Microsoft office software.
•Knowledge of US GAAP will be an advantage.
•Fast learner and ability to work independently.
•Strong analytical skills.
•Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
•Positive working attitude.
•Reliable and can be depended on to complete tasks on a timely basis.
•Ability to work well with others.
•Able to travel 10 to 15% of the time.