Clients need guidance on ensuring their businesses are aligned with the requirements of tax frameworks, as well as help with tax governance and pricing agreements
The fact that tax standards have changed in the last year – largely because of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s base erosion and profit sharing (BEPS) initiative – means that there will be significant opportunities for tax lawyers in the coming years, says Javier Gónzalez Carcedo, partner at PwC Tax and Legal Services in Madrid.
“This means we will have a lot of work in terms of how to help our clients align their businesses to taxation,” he explains. Tax governance will be among the key issues on which clients will need legal advice, according to Gónzalez Carcedo – meanwhile, due to changes in domestic and international laws, the role of tax lawyers has become much broader. He explains that their role now involves “prevention through pricing agreements and documentation because you will have to explain whatever you have done”. Gónzalez Carcedo continues: “It also means audits, obviously, and if everything fails, litigation.”
Consequently, one of the major challenges lawyers face is being able to cope with all these requirements, he says. “Clearly, our clients are asking us to do many things. They want us to comprehend their business from an economic perspective and they want us to be present wherever they are present.”