The Future of Tax Departments

Published on 27 Jun 2021

White paper - The Future of Tax Departments

Digitization and globalization have led to a social, cultural, and political shift in all areas of public life including taxes. What is considered necessary and the expectations from systems have changed dramatically. Tax authorities around the world have recognized the benefits of technology and using it to increase transparency. Organizations need to have faster data analysis to keep pace with reporting requirements and stay ahead of the competition. All of these factors combined are forcing tax departments to adapt and transform. An increasing number of corporate tax departments are embracing tax technology. However, even tech-savvy tax teams are struggling to cope with the demands created by the pandemic. Many team members are working from home and have to rely on technologies instead of face-to-face discussions or hallway chats.

See also: Corporate tax technology: Stepping into the future

What is the future of tax departments?

The unfortunate circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of technology at many companies. The need for increased transparency and faster data analysis from a smaller workforce has led to tax teams embracing and leveraging available technologies. This white paper by Thomson Reuters, explores the democratization of technology, the rise of toxicologists and the impact of open platforms. 

Open vs Closed Platforms

Businesses need to think about the underlying architecture on which technology solutions are built and how that will impact processes and people. Traditional software are closed systems. This means that users can't alter the programming of the solution which limits their functionality. It is not possible to customize these systems for individual needs. However, these days tax technology solutions that are built as open platforms are available. This means that users can configure the program's functionality to suit their needs. Often, this can be accomplished with or without the help of a programmer. Open platforms have more robust solutions for collaboration and more streamlined integrated workflows. 

Tax technologists (Taxologists)

Tax technologies being developed today are being designed so that they can be used by non-technical persons. Similar to how the spreadsheet could be used by anyone willing to get training on the program, new tech solutions require a minimal amount of training to learn how to use. This means that tax teams no longer need to rely on a programmer or IT professional to perform certain functions. There has also been an increase in a new type of tax professional. Technically literate tax professionals who know how to the latest technologies and can train others to do the same have emerged. Many organizations have formalized the role of such individuals by creating positions like Tax Technologist or Taxologist.  

Download this white paper by Thomson Reuters to learn more about the future of tax departments, open and closed platforms as well as taxologists. Subscribe to for quality online resources and white papers.


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