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Tax risk: an in-house perspective

The appliance of tax legislation to a taxpayer’s commercial activities is worryingly often far from clear. Tax rules are rarely as fluid or responsive to change as the business world and therefore tend to be inherently imprecise. Consequently there is often great uncertainty about the application of tax rules to commercial transactions and especially cross-border transactions.

Companies can choose to deal with this uncertainty in a number of different ways. On the one hand a company could try to create certainty around the tax impact of its business affairs. This is likely to be a sub-optimal policy as a demand for certainty generally equates to the highest possible tax bill. On the other

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