How to run a successful corporate tax function

Former Group Tax Director and corporate tax specialist, Peter Mason, has three books available:

The original 400 page hard back book, Tax Commandments For Business, reveals the secrets of best practices and tips of the trade in operating an effective and responsible corporate tax function.

Taxes At Work (2022) and Building Better Taxes (2021), two shorter paperback books, are beautiful compendiums of critical and engaging articles on corporate taxes, with colour illustrations. They are the ideal coffee table tax books!

“Genuinely enjoyable and engaging”
“Covers a huge amount of ground very elegantly”
“A perspective from someone who’s done the role is very valuable”
“A super useful resource”

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Taxes At Work

This is the latest compilation of various articles written over 2022. They analyse how tax is managed in the workplace and also how the construction of tax policy works. They criticise and challenge established wisdom regarding taxation principles and allow you to be judge and executioner over fiscal policy. All articles draw on my practical experiences in managing corporate taxes in global business. I hope that theses articles will challenge and educate all for a better public debate on taxation.

There are seventeen separate pieces in this book. They are split into articles from the diary entries of a fictional new tax executive and monthly Uk columns under the Masonry.

Taxation is a worthy discipline combining intellectual analysis, complex legal interpretation, business acumen, social empathy, and leadership skills. We, as tax professionals, must strive to improve the environment of tax and this is my small contribution. Building Better Taxes is the ultimate, and unique, coffee table tax book.

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Building Better Taxes

This is a compilation of those various articles I have written in 2021. They analyse tax developments while being critical of their purpose and attempt to subtly entice changes. Each individual article stands as a complete argument and contention about a specific area of tax law and practice. They draw on my experiences to proffer practical corporate tax advice and insights on the best management of the global tax affairs of business. In total they represent a rich array of tax debates on the merits and complications of our global tax system.

There are seventeen separate pieces in this book. They are split into analysis and critique of Tax Policy, Tax Risk, Transfer Pricing and Tax People. I particularly enjoyed "An Indecent Proposal" whose acronym is the same as Intellectual Property (IP) on which I question governments around the world unashamedly attracting IP with fiscal incentives. "The Power Of Three" looks at the BEPS Action 13 documentation requirements of Master File, Local File and CbCR, where I was amused to note that the three stooges: Mo, Larry and Curly, had the same initials! "It's An Uncertain World" questions whether you can be certain about anything, including death and taxes. A hard-hitting piece entitled "Fairness: Racism in Taxation" indicts our tax profession for its failures towards ethnic minority groups, urging more to be done to eliminate discrimination in all forms.

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Tax Commandments For Business

A summary of the ten tax commandments covered in the book
I. Dare To Dream

This covers creating an exciting and meaningful tax strategy and making a difference, which relies on understanding the culture, business, risks and stakeholders’ views about tax.

II. Fit For Purpose

This looks at available tax resources from in-house teams to external service providers to robots and how they should be best deployed across all the various tax management activities.

III. Know Your Business

This looks at understanding the business model and applying the tax laws of transfer pricing where they overlap with the main commercial areas to drive quality and performance.

IV. Take Extra Care

This examines the tax policy and governance to seek to ensure no surprises, covering standard management techniques for identification, assessment and mitigation of tax risks.

V. Work Your Magic

This covers excellent execution of business projects, including M&A, aligned with their commercial goals ensuring successful and tax-efficient completion on time and on budget.

VI. Don’t Waste Your Time

This discusses Lean methodologies and how they can be deployed throughout all tax processes to reduce costs, ensure timely delivery, minimise risks, enhance quality and protect people.

VII. Follow The Spirit

This looks at the purpose of governments in setting tax laws, and examines intra-group financing activities to test if companies respect the underlying intentions of the law.

VIII. Tell The Tax Truth

This covers tax accounting and reporting both internally to management and externally to all stakeholders, showing how the financial results can reveal the company’s tax approach.

IX. Stay The Distance

This covers engagement with tax authorities on your tax position in an effective and efficient manner, adopting responsible resolution approaches and fair controversy settlement.

X. Honour Your Promises

This concludes with the key commitments you will make in your tax function, how you demonstrate the value you provide and the skill set you will need for such promises.

Practical Tax Commandments for Advisers is a soft copy of the internationally recognised Tax Commandments For Business. The two books are largely the same although the softback is shorter not including some of the more anecdotal elements of the main hardback book. The softback has also been updated for more recent international tax developments and earned the author a fellowship from the Chartered Institute of Taxation in the UK.

These ‘Tax Commandments For Business’ include some biblical references to Moses (who was given the “ten commandments”) but set in a fictional manner with the intention of framing the chapters and the tax themes which emerge from them. Crucially, though, this is not a religious book, nor is it necessary that the reader is especially familiar with the religious narratives it relates. The context seeks to be sensitive to those of all faiths or no faith, and they are presented in a spirit of secular neutrality.

What's inside?

This comprehensive guide covers how to create an exciting strategy, determine the right resources, be a good business partner, manage risk effectively, execute projects well, run processes efficiently, comply responsibly, account truthfully, resolve disputes optimally and make a valuable impact. It is explained by a former Group Tax Director at an executive level but is also applicable to aspiring tax leaders and all in the tax team. Finance teams, tax advisers and tax authorities can also benefit from a better understanding of their colleagues in industry. In fact, this book covers common leadership skills relevant to all business sectors and all commercial leaders. These tax commandments exemplify the high ethical standards to which professional staff commit in general for full stakeholder satisfaction.

​This 400-page hardback edition is more than just a tax book. It will guide you in many valuable commercial skills for successful leadership.

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About the author

Peter Mason, BSc (hons) FCA CTA (Fellow) FCT has operated at executive level in public quoted multinational groups for over thirty years, advising and managing tax, finance, treasury, risk and M&A. He graduated from Bristol University with a first-class honours degree in Engineering Mathematics before changing career direction and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant and then Chartered Tax Advisor​, as well as obtaining a Masters in Corporate Treasury. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Association of Corporate Treasurers and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

Peter has led tax optimisation and compliance programmes, treasury and cash management services, obtained and maintained credit ratings, directed internal assurance, governance and risk management across many countries and raised in total over £1 billion of external debt. He has been significantly involved in structuring over 100 M&A transactions and has negotiated many major tax settlements seeking to achieve win-win solutions. He specialises in process optimization, change management, project execution, transaction planning, transfer pricing, intra-group funding efficiency, and governance structures, having worked for global engineering groups. His passion for ​Lean methodologies combines his engineering problem-solving skills with tax and treasury disciplines to continuously improve back-office processes.

Peter has chaired, and participated in, many committees and subsidiary company boards, in the UK and overseas, as well as being a pension trustee for over twenty years and a well-respected business adviser. He regularly lectures on tax, treasury and financial topics. Peter is also the Network Independent Director of the Tax Director Network.

Peter is married with two grown-up children and enjoys theatre, museums, travel (particularly around France), and most sports - albeit more watching them nowadays!
Contact Peter Mason


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