By Davinia Lyon

Challenges and priorities have changed for corporate tax departments. That’s the findings in a new benchmark study by Bloomberg Tax & Accounting. Testing out the response to changes in the landscape in early 2020, the survey found that corporate tax department executives have pivoted to focus on immediate needs first, then mechanisms to move steadily forward.

Driven by uncertainty, tax departments cited tracking legislation and managing the burden of compliance as their top mandate, taking center stage over implementing new and better use of technology. Reducing costs and preserving cash are critical to about one in two tax executives. 

Twenty-eight percent of tax executives surveyed cited tax planning to take advantage of opportunities and reduce downside as a focus. Twenty-two percent are concerned with business disruptions and workforce management. Financial disclosure concerns are cropping up as tax departments turn their attention to the longer-term implications of the pandemic.

State treatment of federal tax laws is a primary concern among one in three tax departments. States are on the front end of the coronavirus response and struggling with the loss of their tax base due to business disruptions and workforce reductions. These states are looking and will be enforcing tax collections aimed at replenishing state coffers.

The Takeaway

While tax departments have been under continued stress to do more with less, this strain is going to be increased due to the uncertainty of the times.  This creates an opportunity and need for the tax department to be closely aligned with leadership and operations to know how business is being impacted and how they can work side by side to maximize cash flow and minimize risk.

Let’s Talk Tax

Davinia Lyon, partner in corporate and income tax planning, is helping businesses take advantage of Coronovirus relief with a complimentary review of available opportunities. Reach out to Davinia at

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