In this article, Louis DETALLE (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management, 2020-2023) explains what a tax specialist works on, on a daily basis.
What does the tax specialist’s job consist in?
A tax lawyer’s main task is to advise a company on the projects it intends to carry out to ensure that these projects are as optimized from a tax point of view while remaining legal. This means that the job of a tax lawyer is to use its knowledge of the legal environment and the latest standards to save the company money by limiting the amount of tax it has to pay. For business projects, this can be an acquisition, various investments, relocation, setting up abroad, and many other projects. The tax lawyer is also the privileged interlocutor and support of a company when it enters into a financial and/or legal dispute with the regulatory authorities for example.
It is the tax lawyer who guarantees the proper conduct of all the company’s operations through his or her recommendations! Thus, the tax lawyer is responsible for choosing the appropriate tax regime for each company, depending on its characteristics and the current state of affairs.
Why would a company employ a tax specialist rather than resort to legal cabinets whenever they need them?
Whether it is the drafting of a contract or the creation of a subsidiary on the other side of the world, the law and taxation of these operations is inherent to their successful completion. This is why the company resorts to a tax specialist at all times, since it needs a rapid response to the slightest of its questions that can come up anytime since law is always involved.
On the other hand, the advantage of having a tax specialist dedicated to the company is that the latter will develop a fine understanding of the company, its structure and its network. In doing so, the tax specialist will be able to provide a more personalized and tailored solution than a tax consultancy that discovers the company when it becomes a client.
What does a tax specialist work on?
The tax specialist’s job is to bring his or her skills to help the company to fill in its tax return if it is complex. He or she can also help with inheritances, in order to calculate the transfer duties that will be applied free of charge. For example, this is an important feature of LVMH, which Bernard Arnault has structured in order to anticipate his succession. For example, he had the holding company that owns LVMH – the Agache holding company – transformed into a limited partnership. This type of company is recognized as a good solution to control family groups (see “Resources” section below).
The tax lawyer can also assist the taxpayer when he wants to repatriate funds held abroad. The tax lawyer also comes in support when his client is subject to a tax audit, in this case, his mission is to ensure that the tax authorities do not exceed their powers and respect the procedural guarantees. He must assist him in all stages of the procedure in progress.
Finally, the optimization of his clients’ assets is also part of his missions. The Chief Financial Officer and the tax lawyer will therefore work together to ensure that the company’s real estate holdings are secure, optimized and in compliance with the law. When the tax lawyer works in collaboration with a company, his role is to defend the legal and economic interests of the latter and, in fact, he will be able to manage the various disputes directly related to its activity.
Why does the tax specialist’s job appeal so much to people?
First of all, it is the dynamic working environment that the legal environment constitutes that attracts tax specialists. Indeed, the law evolves with time, and this constitutes the first argument given by them. In fact, as the law is not the same today as it was yesterday, a tax specialist is often demanded to keep a close look at the different regulation changes that happen.
In addition, the position of this job within companies also makes the job really interesting because the tax specialist can interact with other departments such as the Corporate Strategy Department and the Board of Directors. For that matter, a tax specialist career can be very challenging, and this is what young lawyer seek for.
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About the author
The article was written in November 2022 by Louis DETALLE (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management, 2020-2023).