“As we move to our new premises at 85 South Mall, I am extremely excited about Cork’s future and the role that KPMG can play in supporting Cork, a city on the rise,” says Michael Lynch, Tax Partner with KPMG. “Internationally, there has probably been more change in the tax world over the past 5 years than in the previous 30 years. The changes we have seen include a fundamental reform of the US corporation tax system, various changes introduced at EU level and measures taken on foot the OECD’s BEPS project.” Over recent years Ireland has adopted a number of international tax measures into its corporation tax regime, he explains. “This has been done under the framework of Ireland’s Roadmap for Corporation Tax, and further measures will be adopted later in 2019 and in coming years.”
“In addition to the pace of tax reform, we are also seeing and will continue to see rapid changes and indeed disruption changes to the traditional forms of tax reporting,” Michael elaborates. “Tax authorities, tax advisors and taxpayers are seeing fundamental changes in the capabilities of tax technology. These have evolved from initial solutions to prepare tax computations using a bespoke tax software package rather than on Excel, to on-line filing of tax returns, to real time PAYE reporting, and increasingly solutions which help to manage or identify tax risks by taxpayers and tax authorities.”
Michael points out that many larger organisations have looked at and implemented outsource solutions to manage tax compliance: “In the future we will see much more automation and standardisation of tax compliance functions, not just in very large organisations but also, I believe, in SMEs.” He adds that artificial intelligence is also commencing to play a significant role in the management of tax risk.
“We work with our clients every day to help them navigate what at times is a challenging, but from my perspective at least, always an interesting environment,” Michael says. “Given the rapid change in tax and in tax based technology solutions it is a super time to lead our tax team in Cork.” In addition to supporting the tax needs of FDI clients, a large part of KPMG’s local tax department supports the needs of indigenous Irish owned and often family owned businesses - private enterprises critical to Ireland’s current and future success.
Businesses have focused on battening down the hatches and running their core businesses well through the recession years, and now have a stronger appetite to invest.
“It is a really interesting time to work with private enterprises. Many of these businesses will have focused on battening down the hatches and running their core businesses well through the recession years. However, in more recent times these businesses have a stronger appetite to invest, are more willing to leverage the strength of their balance sheet, engage with new lenders to refinance existing debt arrangements and are now looking at passing ownership from one generation to the next, or, where deemed appropriate, selling all or part their business.” He underlines the importance, when making commercial decisions, that the tax implications thereof are clearly understood and there are no big surprises.
“I am very proud to lead a dynamic and innovative team of tax professionals here in Cork. Through them and our national and global reach, I am confident that we can deliver in Cork the appropriate solutions for our existing and future clients.”
Michael, who leads the KPMG Private Enterprise offering in the region, adds that when working through transactions with Irish owned businesses they now expect not just tax or assurance supports but increasingly want and expect KPMG to provide a holistic, “One Stop Shop” solution.
KPMG has invested significantly in our advisory services locally with Ruairi Kenneally (Restructuring) and Paul Hough (E-Discovery and Forensics) recently joining our team alongside Fintan Walshe who supports our private enterprise advisory function at both local and national level. Additional senior appointments will be announced over the summer and in the coming year as we continue to invest in Cork, a city on the rise.
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This article first appeared in The Irish Examiner, and is reproduced here with their kind permission.