OSH MasterClass Series: Document Pitfalls in Taxation

The Document Pitfalls in Taxation masterclass held on 19 February 2016 marks the first of many upcoming masterclasses for the year 2016. The event saw the gathering of tax professionals from different industries to learn and appreciate the importance of documentation in taxation. 

Ong Sim Ho, Counsel, started the seminar with a multi-pronged approach in analysing the different areas in which documentation can play a role in taxation i.e. in operational policies and transactional level. Within these areas, the scope of documentation stretches over documents such as tax analysis papers and compliance papers. In the taxation world where substance is always thought to trump over form, primacy of documentation presents both risks and opportunities.

Sim Ho then proceeded to analyse the potential risks and opportunities of documentation. Erroneous documentation could expose one to liabilities whereas good documentation could lend enormous advantage in tax disputes.

A key highlight to this masterclass would be Sim Ho’s guide to good documentation in which he succinctly termed it as the 5Cs – Contemporaneous, Complete, Contextualised, Communicate and Control and Contain. A good document should have the above stated features.

Lastly, participants were given an overview in the context of both transfer pricing (TP) and permanent establishment (PE) matters. Sim Ho examined the legal nature of TP and PE documents and identified the risks and opportunities that these documents present. Sim Ho also mentioned the implications of the OECD BEPS project on TP matters.

All in all, Sim Ho has provided a comprehensive seminar on the documentation pitfalls in taxation and has emphasised that having good documentation in taxation would serve a company well in the long run.

The OSH MasterClass Series aspires to deliver a high standard of technical exposure for our clients and market partners to areas of law for which our expertise is recognised. A constant feature of our MasterClass events is a strong strategic and practice focus and thoughtful sharing of our knowledge and experience. Underlying our efforts is the belief that delivering success for our clients is the fruit of partnership with our clients and market partners.