Tax as a business partner – aligning tax planning with a company’s strategy


Many businesses view their tax team as simply a cost centre or compliance function.

The truth is, tax can and should be a critical component in achieving a company’s strategy and can be a true business partner.

There are however, obvious challenges with tax planning in an environment where there is sustained public interest and focus from regulators on the tax contribution of the corporate sector.

At the 2018 Queensland Tax Forum, Justine Neep (Senex Energy) and Sarah Price (PanAust) look at the opportunities for in-house tax teams to partner with the business in the session ‘Tax as a business partner – aligning tax planning with a company’s strategy’.

Justine tells us about some of the issues to be covered in this post.

“Tax risk management is already a key area of focus for advisers, be it a specialist focus or because it is inherent in all advice and compliance support activities we provide. What many people don’t understand fully are the drivers and therefore some of the constraints and opportunities to support clients in how tax requirements or tax inputs are articulated and framed. People also struggle in shifting the conversation to focus on adding value rather than just adhering to legislative requirements” she said.

Justine and Sarah will look at tax governance and engagement with the Board, early engagement with internal stakeholders, and the ability to access data to facilitate analysis and planning opportunities.


“We want delegates to leave with insights into the key challenges and opportunities for inhouse tax teams, and to be able to recognise the value these challenges and opportunities can add to the business and the corporate strategy, rather than being seen as purely a compliance function. This can be particularly difficult when looking to balance expectations of CFOs, senior management, directors, regulators and other external stakeholders.”

“I'm currently Corporate Performance & Tax Manager at Senex Energy Limited, an ASX-listed oil and gas producer and explorer, which means I oversee the continuous improvement of the Group’s key systems and processes, oversee corporate risk management and manage the tax affairs of the Group.”

“I started my career in tax with EY, Perth and have since worked in London, Sydney and now Brisbane. An important part of my tax role at Senex is seeking to influence tax policy and working with regulators to understand industry issues, as well as keeping our senior management and directors informed of tax risk management issues and opportunities.”

Justine’s co-presenter, Sarah Price, joined PanAust as Group Manager, Taxation in 2016. Sarah is responsible for tax strategy and structuring, M&A, managing the global tax compliance and liaising with government and regularity bodies in emerging markets.

The session is facilitated by Kurt Burrows, a Partner in the KPMG Brisbane corporate tax practice, with a focus on the resource sector.

Of the rest of the program, Justine said “The session looking at the ATO's tax gap research program is of real interest to me, as well as Michael Flanderka and Darren Timms’ session ‘Opportunities to expand the capability and resourcing of the tax function’. I’m also keen to catch Andrew Smailes’ look at justified trusts.”

2018’s Queensland Tax Forum takes place 23-24 August, at Brisbane’s brand new 5-star hotel, W Brisbane - part of the new, billion-dollar Brisbane Quarter.

Find out more about this session and the rest of the and the rest of the program on our website.

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