At year end, external auditors heading into the tax department do not generally rely on internal controls to reduce testing; a great deal of effort is focused on substantively testing the income tax balances on the financial statements. Tax processes are notoriously manual in nature with numerous adjustments required to manipulate general ledger information into useable tax information. We have compiled a list of the top ten tax controls every company should have in place with the emphasis (as expected) on monitoring controls.
Board members and senior management are quite familiar with compliance requirements for CEO and CFOs certification and the importance of maintaining strong internal controls over financial results. The certification process extends to internal controls over income taxes balances in the financial statements. For the majority of companies with a well-staffed tax department, monitoring controls remain the strongest control and most frequently used. Senior management is however, frequently unaware of the potentially material risk associated with tax plans implemented in the past; undergoing an annual TPIR assists in mitigating this risk to a manageable level.
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