CPA Canada hosts ICAS and GAA tax directors
Tax education, dispute resolution and ethics for tax practitioners – these were just a few topics on the agenda when Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) tax leaders met for three days in Toronto in April 2016.
As businesses and economies globalise, and the world’s tax authorities increasingly join forces and share best practices, the GAA Tax Directors Committee sees a world of opportunity for its member organisations to collaborate.
Formed around 2005, the committee has become more active in the last several years sharing best practices, information and collaborating on important international tax issues. The GAA is an alliance of 10 leading professional accountancy bodies, including ICAS, with a combined membership of 1 million across 180 countries.
For the committee’s annual in-person meeting in April, CPA Canada’s vice president, Tax, Gabe Hayos developed a jam-packed, two-day agenda of sessions on topics of mutual interest:
- External stakeholders were invited to engage in some discussions, including representatives of the Canadian Tax Foundation and three global CPA firms.
- University of Waterloo ethics professor Karen Wensley shared material on tax ethics being incorporated in CPA Canada’s tax education offerings.
- There was a frank and wide-ranging discussion with senior officials from the Canada Revenue Agency’s compliance programs branch. Among other topics, the group examined the CPA Canada-CRA framework agreement as a model for effective co-operation between tax authorities and key stakeholders. The group also shared Canadian and international views on best practices in dispute resolution, the global movement to curb tax base erosion and profit shifting, and the impact of digitalization on tax services, tax audit processes and the security of taxpayer data.
Charlotte Barbour, ICAS Director of Tax, said: "The GAA Tax Directors’ annual meeting provides a forum for very helpful and worthwhile discussions regarding relations between the accountancy profession and external parties such as the tax authorities.
"It has also created a sense of collegiality among the GAA tax directors which will foster even better service provision for our respective organisations and our members."
CPA Canada had also arranged for the tax directors to attend one of Canada’s leading think tanks, which was hosting a policy conference on business taxes. This also provided opportunities to discuss the way in which provincial and national taxes interact in Canada, demonstrating that there is much of mutual interest.