KPMG's tax advisors help clients to settle their taxes safely, but also effectively. They defend the interests of taxpayers and represent them in disputes with tax authorities. They also help to take advantage of domestic and EU public aid. We serve clients operating in a wide range of industries, including real estate, retail, consumer goods, as well as the financial, banking and telecommunications sectors. In addition, our technology teams provide solutions for the automation of tax compliance processes and data processing through analytical tools.

What are the characteristics of the Tax Advisory Department at KPMG?

In seven offices in Poland – Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Katowice and Łódź over 600 people work in the Tax Advisory Department. In the department there are over a dozen specialist teams, including Mergers & Acquisitions, International Corporate Tax, Transfer Pricing, Corporate Tax Advisory, Enterprise, Financial Services, Global Mobility Services, Indirect Tax Services, and Tax Technology. Our work in taxation is unique in that we often act as an intermediary between business and the State – we find a common language between the authorities and business representatives. As tax advisors, we must be able to advise our clients in such a way so as to fully meet their expectations and business assumptions and to comply with the letter of the law. This is quite a challenge, as our work is based on direct contact with the people deciding on the future of companies, including international corporations. On the other hand, by participating in discussions, especially with the Ministry of Finance, we try to raise awareness of those tax solutions that can be compatible with the spirit of business. The uniqueness of our work has already been presented by Benjamin Franklin, who in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy stated long ago that taxes are one of the two sure things in this world. 

How did it happen that you chose taxes as your career path? Which qualities help you in your work?

I wanted to be a lawyer already in primary school, but I became interested in taxes mainly thanks to my lecturers at the University of Warsaw. Of course, during my studies I imagined that I would be conducting gigantic tax optimisations in the future, but fortunately, after several years of practice I have a more mature approach to taxes. The fact that I chose taxes as an area in which I want to work and develop myself is mainly due to the fact that I find it interesting and I studied tax law a bit better than other subjects at university. The qualities that help me in my work are certainly a great thirst for knowledge and a desire for continuous development, an analytical approach to problems, discipline, thinking out of the box. However, in my opinion, these are not the qualities necessary to work in taxation, we are a group of individuals working together and probably the most important thing in working in our department is the ability to communicate properly,  with both the team and the client. 

What does your team deal with and what are they responsible for? What advice would you give a new colleague from your team?

I work in the Mergers & Acquisitions team. My team deals with tax due diligence (i.e., investigating the tax position of a company prior to its sale), structuring financing for acquisitions, tax optimisation of company acquisitions and disposals, tax reorganisations of corporate groups, cash flow modelling, financial model reviews, transfer pricing and MDR. I would certainly advise colleagues with less seniority not to be shy about asking if they do not know something. Everyone in our team is a professional and is willing to share their experience and knowledge. I would encourage them to make the most of the opportunity to learn from the best. I would refer those in senior positions to our bosses for advice. I cannot recall a situation where any of them did not have time for me if I approached them with a problem. And they are really very busy!

What do you consider to be your greatest success?

As part of our work in M&A, all the projects we take part in are very interesting. We often learn from the more difficult projects and after some time, it is the most difficult ones that turn out to be the most interesting. One due diligence report from the real estate industry, which was a very demanding project, was afterwards named in our department as the real estate bible. During such due diligence we focus on virtually all taxes, which often requires the involvement of colleagues from departments such as GMS and TP. Projects during which we have to work with other departments are certainly among the more interesting ones. In my opinion, all the structuring reports I have written have been interesting projects. Structures are definitely my favourite projects. I would consider the business cases for restructuring to be my biggest success. Business cases are not directly related to tax, because in a business case we describe the non-tax reasons that led to a reorganisation within the group, the side effect of which, often, was tax optimisation. These were probably the most challenging projects in terms of involving creativity. 

What is your career path at KPMG in Poland?

My adventure with KPMG began in 2017, when I took part in the 10th edition of the Tax'n'You competition. I came second in the competition and the prize was an employment contract in the tax team of my choice at KPMG. I chose to work in the Mergers& Acquisitions team because I believed that I would have the opportunity to further my education in the broadest possible spectrum when it comes to taxes. I am certainly not disappointed, as I work with outstanding specialists in my field on a daily basis and have the opportunity to learn from the best. As far as my career path is concerned, it is rather standard, from consultant to senior consultant, and this is the position I am currently in. In the meantime, I worked at another Big4 firm, but after a short time I returned to the same department at KPMG. During these three years at KPMG, I believe that I have developed more than I could have imagined at the start of my adventure with taxes. If anyone is thinking about choosing their career path, I strongly recommend the Tax M&A team at KPMG. 

Which qualifications does KPMG help you gain?

KPMG helps to acquire qualifications necessary for substantive work, e.g., by financing the exam for tax advisor, attorney-at-law or advocate training, financing the accounting course, and also supports the improvement of soft skills. As far as the most interesting training experience are concerned, I have fond memories of my participation in the preparations for TED Talks. If a given qualification is useful in our work, there is no problem to receive funding for it or a day off when it comes to preparing for exams. Development opportunities are really limited by the employee's time and imagination. Any well-motivated course or training chosen by an employee is warmly welcomed and we are even encouraged to keep learning in different areas that are useful in our daily work. Very interesting are the training courses for the whole CEE region in taxes, where for a week we meet with employees from KPMG's foreign offices and participate in training courses on international tax law, business English and soft skills. Apart from that, another valuable aspect are new acquaintances, not only from among KPMG staff working in other Polish offices, but also colleagues from countries such as Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. 

How do you spend time with your team outside of work?

We often go out for lunch as a whole team with the managers and our boss. The atmosphere in the team is very friendly, we mostly meet after work in our free time and we are good friends. There is no doubt that this positive atmosphere is created thanks to our supervisors. They organize various workshops for us, both those during which we can learn to cook together and those more demanding, where we can find out our strengths and weaknesses in the Gallup tests. We enjoy spending time actively with each other, including sports sections such as swimming, badminton, and football. Part of the team regularly meets for FIFA tournaments, but when it comes to winning, we have one undisputed leader in our team. Our internal customs, undoubtedly, include bringing a cake to celebrate birthdays and successes in our personal and professional lives and, for as long as I can remember, decorating the Christmas tree together!

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