Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Managing Tax Risk in Latin America

In a recent discussion, PricewaterhouseCoopers' John Salerno joined the editors of Tax Strategies to talk with ADM's Robert Frable and Sony's Marc Lewis about their tax operations in Latin America, their new procedures for dealing with FIN 48, and transfer pricing procedures. This excerpt from that interview takes a look at their strategies surrounding FIN 48:

Strategies: What has your overall experience been in managing the implementation of FIN 48 in the region?

Lewis: It is hard to say that the Latin American region presents something that is unique within FIN 48 implementation versus some of the other regions but I think one thing to consider is how much reliance a taxpayer can place on the availability of Competent Authority or APA relief. To a certain extent, it is dependent upon how active the Competent Authority is between different countries and how active the APA programs are between different countries. Latin America, Mexico and probably some others have pretty robust activities. However, in other countries, it is just building up, so I do not think you are at the same level as you see in some of the countries in Europe, Japan and other places where you can rely upon a Competent Authority or APAs in the assessment of uncertain tax positions.

Frable: FIN 48 was an interesting experience with this being the implementation year. I think everybody was surprised at how much time they ended up spending on the implementation. It took away from your day-today responsibilities. I think it is going to get better; tax departments, controllers and even outside auditors had to work through a learning curve.

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