For each of the past 8 years, I have had the privilege of writing a published article that takes a forward-looking view of changes to indirect taxes, either in China, regionally in the Asia Pacific, or globally. In many ways, writing this article has provided an invaluable opportunity to lift up one’s perspective from the day-to-day grind; to seek to identify the changes, the trends, and the future directions in indirect taxes; and to steer course and set strategies in that direction. To use an analogy, it’s like an ocean swimmer putting their head down for several strokes while swimming, but every now and then, peering above the waves to check whether or not they are maintaining the best course to the finishing line.
This year is no exception. However, before presenting a futuristic perspective, I thought it would be useful to briefly revisit some of the predictions made back in early 2014 — both to see the extent to which they have proved accurate, and to see if there are any patterns or themes that have emerged over the past 5 years that may provide useful pointers to the future.
A number of the future state propositions are intentionally provocative. They are also designed to challenge ourselves as tax professionals, whether working as advisors, in in-house roles or in policy or tax administration roles, to see how we can do better. The propositions do not represent KPMG’s views or policies on any issues.
I would like to acknowledge and thank the following people for input to this paper — Lennert Janssen, Philippe Stephanny, Gary Harley, Steven Ren.
— By Lachlan Wolfers
Global Head of Indirect Taxes
The 2019 Asia Pacific indirect tax guide includes summaries of the indirect tax regimes and compliance administrative issues in the Asia Pacific region.