Corporate Taxation

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Description
This assignment seeks to assess your ability to:

• Critically evaluate and discuss the major developments during 2016 in corporate taxation from the perspective of multinational companies and their auditors, governments and other stakeholders.
• Apply appropriate knowledge, analytical techniques and concepts to problems and issues arising from both familiar and unfamiliar situations;
• Think critically, examine problems and issues from a number of perspectives, challenge viewpoints, ideas and concepts and make well-reasoned judgements;
• Present, discuss and defend ideas, concepts and views effectively through formal language.

Background:

In the final weeks of 2016 a leading tax expert suggested that “a whirlwind of international tax changes has swept the globe”. He also went on to say that for companies operating in Europe there is no end in sight to the pace of change. The final recommendations on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) from the OECD have been endorsed by the EU. In fact a number of European governments have already implemented large parts of these proposals ahead of schedule.

The third quarter of the year saw the European Commission in the spotlight with its landmark decision that the technology giant Apple must repay no less than €13 billion of taxes to the Irish government. This ruling was based on the view that the favourable tax treatment was effectively state aid and hence the Irish government had broken EU law. At the same time countries across the world continue to compete by reducing the rate of corporate taxes. Many commentators suggest that the UK government will cut the corporate tax rate to 10% if the country fails to negotiate a trade deal with the European Union as part of the Brexit process. In a separate development earlier in the year the government of Hungary announced it would become the tax haven of Central Europe with a plan to reduce corporation tax to a mere 9%.

Required:

You are to write a report for the Board of Directors of a listed global company that has manufacturing and R&D activities across Europe, Asia, Australasia and America. The report should assume that the directors have detailed knowledge of the group activities but are not taxation specialists. However they would be aware of issues relating to corporate governance, transparency and reputational risks.

The report should cover the following aspects:

Evaluate the major developments that occurred in corporate taxation in 2016 and the issues that may arise in the current year.

Discuss the implications for the group in regard to the relationship with its auditors.

Consider how other stakeholders and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) may be affected by changes in the level of corporate taxes and their possible reaction.

The resources below are on Blackboard and provide an introduction to the topic.

“Corporate tax evasion: tackling Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” by Helen Miller and Thomas Pope of the Institute for Fiscal Studies

“Ten Reasons to Defend the Corporation Tax” by the Tax Justice Network

“Ending the Era of Tax Havens” March 2016 by Oxfam

“Tax Battles” December 2016 by Oxfam

“Building Public Trust Through Tax Reporting” November 2016 by PwC

The following points are essential to follow in your report:

1. Your report should address and evaluate the issues identified above requirements in a critical way. Good critical evaluation involves (Cottrell, 2005):

• identifying a wide range of other people’s opinions, arguments and conclusion;
• evaluating the evidence for alternative points of view from different user groups of financial information, such as analysts, investors, stakeholders, accounting bodies, managers, audit firms (mainly big four, if available) and other relevant user groups;
• weighing up opposing arguments and evidence fairly;
• depth and breadth of reasoning;
• accounting for why this happens, why it works or fails, why it is rational or irrational, why something is useful or useless; or good or poor. It is not enough merely to list good or poor points;
• examples providing good support for arguments;
• drawing conclusions about whether arguments are valid or justifiable, based on good evidence and sensible assumptions.

Assessment Criteria:

1-Presentation: Clear, well-structured report with appropriate headings and approved style of referencing.
2-Evaluation of the major developments that occurred in corporate taxation during 2016 and discussion of the issues that may arise in the current year (too much mark on this point )
3-Identification and discussion of the taxation issues that could affect the relationship with the auditors of the group
4-Consideration of the views of other stakeholders and their possible reactions
5-A competent and logical summary of the issues discussed in the main body of the report

The following template will be used in assessment and feedback:

The ability to evaluate the required issues in a critical, comprehensive and scholarly manner
Evidence of clear evaluation of alternative views by making good connections with the essential information sources
Evidence of analysis, evaluation and synthesis of the required issues
Ability to structure the report effectively, evidence of appropriate presentation, formatting, referencing and citation skills.
Evidence of providing a good summary of the issues discussed in the main body of the report in a clear, direct and effective way

Format

All work should be word processed in 12 point font Arial and double spaced.

Please use the following file format: Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format.
Please ensure that you provide the following details on the first page of your coursework:
• Student Number
• Module Name and Number
• Word Count
• Total number of pages

Word Limit

The word limit for this coursework is 1500 words.

• Word count includes everything in the main body of the text (including headings, tables, citations, quotes, lists, etc.).
• The references and bibliography are NOT included in the word count.
• There is no direct penalty for exceeding the word count but the marker WILL stop reading once the word limit has been reached and nothing further will be taken into account in the allocation of marks.

You can view the UWE word count policy here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/aboutus/policies
Referencing:

Please ensure you adhere to the principles of (good academic practice and ensure you use the UWE Harvard system to reference your work.) please use UWE Harvard

Failure to properly reference your work to original source material can be grounds for the assessment offence of plagiarism and may result in failure of the assessment or have more serious implications.
For further guidance on correct referencing go to:
http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/studysupport/studyskills/referencing.aspx

Details of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it can be found here:
http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/studysupport/studyskills/readingandwriting/plagiarism.aspx

For general guidance on how to avoid assessment offences see:
http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/academicadvice/assessments/assessmentoffences.aspx

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