On 3 June 2021 BDO Armenia jointly with AmCham Armenia held a conference-round table on Business Tax Function in the Corporations: Current Issues and Opportunities for Armenia at the Synergy Business Center.
The conference contributed to developing a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the evolution of the corporate tax function in Armenia, the new technologies, and trends.
The participants of the event were presented with the results of the 2020 Global Tax Outlook survey conducted by BDO and the Multinational Corporations Tax Complexity Survey conducted by German Universities and leading consulting companies, as well as had the opportunity to lead professional discussions.
As a result of the event, the following topics were discussed:
• current situation and trends of the tax organization, technologies, and tax functions at corporations,
• involvement of corporate bodies in the organization of the corporate tax function and the development of policies in this regard,
• tax complexity and its impact from the point of view of multinationals when planning and implementing investments in certain countries.
The event started with opening remarks by Mr. Vahagn Sahakyan, Managing Partner, BDO Armenia, and Mr. Ashot Hovanesian, AmCham President, Synergy International Systems. They mentioned the importance of understanding optimal tax payment systems and mechanisms, the role of transparent communication between the economy and government. Mr. Vahagn Sahakyan also pointed out and called on other consulting companies of international networks to join and make this type of tax roundtables regular.
The conference also hosted as speakers BDO International Tax Leaders such as Ms. Karen Meenderink
Director of Strategic Projects, BDO Global Tax, UK, and Mr. James Egert, Tax Assurance, Risk and Governance Partner BDO UK. Mr. Ruostam Vakhitov, Crowe Expertiza LLC, International tax partner also participated in the conference as one of the panelists presenting the international experience on subject matter topics.
Mr. Aharon Chilingaryan, Partner, BDO Armenia, and Ms. Karen Meenderink, Director of Strategic Projects, BDO Global Tax, UK, gave presentations on the results of the Global Tax Outlook survey.
Ms. Narine Nuroyan, Head of Tax and Related Services, BDO Armenia gave a presentation on the results of the MNC Tax Complexity survey.
Ms. Naira Petrosyan, Head of Legal Services, BDO Armenia, and Mr. James Egert, Tax Assurance, Risk and Governance Partner BDO UK, gave presentations on Legal comparisons between international and Armenian corporate tax functions.
In the 2 Panel discussions the focus was on the Opportunities for Armenia:
The first panel discussion topic was the two international tax surveys – Comparisons and Armenian projections and was moderated by Mr. David Ananyan, DSA Advisory Group CJSC, CEO, the former Chairmen of the RA State Revenue Committee.
The panelists were Mr. Paylak Tadevosyan, Taxpayers’ rights protection NGO, President, Mr. Nikolay Hakobyan Defendo LLC, Attorney, Ms. Narine Nuroyan BDO Armenia, Head of Tax and Related Services, Mr. Haykaz Fanyan Modex Advisory Company, CEO, Mr. Ruostam Vakhitov, Crowe Expertiza LLC, International tax partner. The main topics for discussion were the requirement of a tax specialist position at corporations, the qualification for the position of the tax compliance function, the preliminary screening of draft documents from a tax point of view, the importance of subject matter surveys and their results, the real impact, and importance of governed participation in international tax administrative matters, etc.
The second panel discussion topic was Corporate Regulations of the Business Tax function moderated by Mr. Tigran Karapetyan, Corporate Governance Center NGO, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
The panelists were Ms. Naira Petrosyan BDO Armenia, Head of Legal Services, Mr. James Egert, BDO UK, Tax Assurance, Risk and Governance Partner, Mr. Tatul Movsisyan Board of Auditors and Chamber of Expert Accountants of Armenia, Chairman, Mr. Tatul Khudatyan K&P Law Firm, Partner, Mr. Arsen Nazaryan IFC, Armenia Investment Reform Consulting Program, Project Manager, Ms. Armine Aghajanyan, Aregak UCO CJSC, Financial Director, Mr. Sergey Muradyan Step Consulting, Executive Director.
The main topics covered were the tax accounting policies vs general accounting policies, the need for tax strategy paper at corporations, the importance of transparent behaviour for the corporations and for the countries, the international experience on tax assurance and tax risk management; how it works in the UK and other countries, Armenian experience of horizontal monitoring, disproportionate liability, dispositions for tax penalties, peculiarities of implementation of corporate governance for SME, the importance emphasized by the international organizations regarding tax functions, the role of Board regarding tax paper, transparency at financial institutions.
In both panels, the panelists had a rich discussion on the possible survey results applications, gaps, and opportunities to further develop the taxation system in the corporations as per the international best practices. It was decided that further discussions will be done to come up with policy recommendations.