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Research

FY20 Tax Department Function Benchmark

As companies continue to navigate the new ways in which they operate, Manufacturers Alliance polling finds the tax department's ins and outs. See how your tax structure, personnel, and responsibilities compare to peers.

For this ninth edition of Manufacturers Alliance's survey of corporate tax departments, the report was split into two sections to provide you with deeper insights into the department's structures, activities, reporting titles, and other aspects.

A few key findings: 

Tax Personnel and Reporting Structures:

  • Net increase in headcount over the past 3 years – Across company sizes, there were modest headcount changes, with about 40% of companies reporting an increase over the past 3 years.
  • Tax personnel geographically dispersed for some – More than one-quarter of companies with revenue of $10B or greater have tax personnel in 10 or more countries.
  • Modest changes in headcount expected – Most companies expect their headcount to remain the same in the next 3 years.

Tax Structure and Activities:

  • Hierarchical structures most common – Nearly two-thirds of companies report having a hierarchical department reporting structure rather than team or matrix structures.  
  • Varied frequency in board reporting – Approximately 1/3 of companies report tax activities to the board on an annual basis, with nearly 1/4 reporting on a quarterly basis.
  • Uneven outsourcing strategies – All smaller companies outsourced some or all of their transfer pricing activities, while larger companies are more likely to keep the activities in house.

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