Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

One minute with...Roopa Aitken

printer Mail
What’s in your in-tray? 
A mixed bag, which makes life interesting. A lot of the work currently stems from BEPS, where companies are reviewing their situation in light of the BEPS developments. In terms of specific projects, the primary focus at the moment is around permanent establishments, controlled foreign company reviews, managing tax risks, the tax implications of the changes in the accounting rules to FRS 101/102 and reorganisations.
What caught your eye in the Finance Bill? 
Long overdue was the announcement in the Business tax roadmap that the government will announce plans to provide mid-sized businesses with a named HMRC adviser. I have some large, dynamic, international clients, who are just below the current threshold to qualify for a customer relationship manager; yet they have challenging issues and have experienced frustrations at not being able to speak to a named individual at HMRC about their tax affairs. The sooner this is brought in, the better.
Looking back on your career to date, what key lesson have you learned? 
Do not be afraid to push the boundaries and challenge the accepted view. I was fortunate enough to be given the space to think about EU law and its impact on UK tax many years ago. As a result, I have been involved in some high profile cases, which have helped to shape the current legal thinking. My first visit to the Court of Justice of the European Union was a real highlight. 
If you could make one change to a tax law or practice, what would it be?
Certainty of tax treatment is critical to business. The current EU state aid challenges have undermined the confidence in tax rulings systems. India is consistently mentioned by clients, due to the length of time discussions take with the tax authority in order to reach agreement. Getting a robust and timely system in place is critical, so that businesses expanding their international footprint have confidence in their tax position.  
You have a special interest in EU matters. What have your clients been considering in this area recently? 
As you can imagine, I have been talking to clients recently about what some of the tax implications around Brexit might be. Understandably, some groups are thinking about the possible impact. In particular, it will be interesting to see what transitional arrangements are put in place in the event of a vote to leave. The uncertainty caused while negotiations are underway will not be helpful to businesses. We will know soon whether this can be crossed off ‘to do’ lists or whether the real work and thinking will have to begin.
Finally, you might not know this about me but… 
When I was younger, I was a member of a steel band. We typically played at school fetes and local events, but the most memorable venue was playing in the Royal Albert Hall!  
Issue: 1313
Categories: One minute with