How are C-level executives reimagining their tax function?

“Tax Reimagined 2021: Perspectives from the C-Suite” provides insights from over 300 C-suite executives at organizations with more than $1 billion in revenue on current and upcoming tax changes, as well as the global tax system overhaul that sits on the horizon.

Out of this research comes many key themes, which indicate that while a significant number of leaders identify their tax departments as modern or innovative – and a large number believe in the predictive power of tax data to add value, anticipate changes, and gain competitive advantage – many are hesitant to take action by investing in tax technology tools and emerging tech, hiring new talent, and upskilling current employees in order to truly “walk the talk.”

Key themes from the C-suite on how they view and use tax functions include:

Most C-suite leaders acknowledge the importance of the tax function, but they don’t consistently recognize tax for being modern and innovative, and they don’t prioritize new technology or talent investments. This can leave the impression that some may be happy with the status quo, and others may not realize how to unlock the tax function's value.

78% of respondents agree that their company’s tax function should be used for more than just managing taxes. Find out more in the full report below.

Most C-suite leaders believe in the predictive power of tax data, but there are significant inconsistencies in the ways organizations currently use that data – particularly for predictive modeling, distilling competitive insights, or scenario planning around potential legislative or regulatory tax changes. This represents a big missed opportunity to mine data’s hidden value.

Only 1 in 3 respondents say that their organization’s tax function is technologically advanced. Find out more in the full report below.

While more than half of C-suite leaders said they have adopted emerging technology, there are signals that interest in further investment may have plateaued. One of the biggest barriers to investing more in tax technology is uncertain ROI, according to the survey. Another is the perception among many that the current state of emerging tax technology feels like the “wild, wild west.” What’s more, nearly two-thirds of survey respondents say they have become more willing to outsource or co-source beyond their initial capabilities over the past year to enhance quality, lower costs and unlock “hidden” value in their tax functions.

Only 36% of respondents say they are investing in a lot in technology to advance the tax function. Find out more in the full report below.

With an increased focus on new technologies, C-suite leaders are uncertain about whether to invest in tax experts or technologists – or, in some cases, whether to invest in new talent at all.

82% of respondents say it’s hard to hire good tax talent. Find out more in the full report below.

Although the majority of C-suite leaders anticipate a tax reset under the Biden administration and are more concerned about global tax reform, only a third are currently using their organization’s tax data to scenario plan around new tax legislation, signaling that some organizations may be caught off guard if and when tax laws are enacted

75% of respondents agree that their company is prepping for potential tax reform under the new administration. Find out more in the full report below.

In response to the growing interest in ESG and increasing calls for greater transparency, many C-suite leaders are refining their approaches to tax planning and making their tax story public so that stakeholders can understand how organizations are considering ESG priorities.

85% or respondents say their company is prioritizing, refining, and making their policy/strategy publicly available. Find out more in the full report below.


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Tax Reimagined 2021: Perspectives from the C-suite

A recent KPMG Tax survey of 300 C-suite executives, primarily CFOs and CEOs, reveal significant differences in how leaders view and use their tax functions.

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