In collaboration with Indian organizations BizStreet and TIOL, Taxlinked organized a mini summit of sorts looking at the OECD’s ongoing efforts to tax the digital economy.
From the perspective of policy makers, industry and financial advisors, our three panel sessions took a crack at the OECD’s latest draft for the taxation of the digital world, what this means for the developing world, and whether or not a trade war will ensue if a compromise is not reached in mid-2021, among a host of other issues.
A third panel also looked at how technology has changed the tax industry and what can be expected moving forward as more governments and large companies embrace the many technological advancements that have made an appearance in our industry.
We had attendees from 30+ countries including India, the UK, Cyprus, the USA, UAE, Kenya, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Germany, France, Italy, Egypt, Spain, China, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and more!
This event took place on Thursday, October 29th from 13:00 to 16:00 UK time.
13:00 Introductory Remarks
- Rishabh Sawansukha, Founder & Partner, BizStreet, India
- Mateo Jarrin Cuvi, Content Manager, Taxlinked, Cyprus
13:10 – 14:00 Panel I: Policy Makers Take on Digital Taxation (Q&A format)
- Speaker 1: Mr. Kamlesh Varshney, Joint Secretary TPL-1, Government of India, India
- Speaker 2: Rohan Shah, Independent Counsel, India
- Speaker 3: Mark Baran, JD LL.M., Principal, Tax Department, Marks Paneth LLP, USA
- Moderator: Shailendra Kumar, TIOL, India
14:00 – 14:50 Panel II: Tax & Technology for Financial Service Providers (Q&A format)
- Speaker 1: Dr. William H. Byrnes, Executive Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Special Projects, School of Law, Texas A&M University, USA
- Speaker 2: Prabin Dokania, Chief Finance Officer, GST Network (GSTN)
- Speaker 3: Tarun Gulati, Senior Counsel, Tax Litigation
- Speaker 4: Gopal Ramanan, Vice President & JAPAC Controller, Global Controller Organization, Oracle, India
- Moderator: Rishabh Sawansukha, Founder & Partner, BizStreet, India
14:50 – 15:40 Panel III: The Future of Digital Taxation: Our Industry’s Perspective (Q&A format)
- Speaker 1: Ramesh Khaitan, Senior Vice President, Lupin Limited, India
- Speaker 2: Mukesh Butani, International Tax Lawyer, Founder BMR Legal
- Speaker 3: Dr. Peter A. Wilson, International Tax Advisor, PB First Global Tax Advisers, UAE
- Speaker 4: Aastha Jain, Partner, Vinod Kumar & Associates, India
- Mateo Jarrin Cuvi, Content Manager, Taxlinked, Cyprus
15:40 – 15:50 Closing Remarks
- Rishabh Sawansukha, Founder & Partner, BizStreet, India
- Mateo Jarrin Cuvi, Content Manager, Taxlinked, Cyprus
Submit Your Questions
If you have any follow-up questions for the panelists on any of the three panels, please make sure to submit them in our pertinent forum thread linked to below.
Shri Kamlesh Varshney,
Joint Secretary TPL-1,
Government of India,
Shri Kamlesh is a senior IRS officer and former APA Commissioner for the Indian government. He was appointed Joint Secretary - TPL (1) in India’s Finance Ministry. He is also currently serving at CIT (International Taxation) and, prior to that, spearheaded India's APA program.
Dr. Peter A. Wilson,
International Tax Advisor,
PB First Global Tax Advisers,
Dr. Wilson is an Australian by birth, and has lived in Sydney, London, New York and now is a Dubai resident. During more than 36 years, he has advised a wide range of multinational clients on the international tax law applicable to their trading and investment activities as well as to their ownership. He has formal qualifications in taxation advising, chartered accounting and law and a PhD in ‘BRICS and International Tax Law’ from Queen Mary, University of London. For many years, Peter was an International Tax Partner of EY and later PwC and an Investment Banker at a major Japanese Financial Institution and now he runs the PB First Global Tax Advisors.
Dr. William H. Byrnes,
Executive Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Special Projects,
School of Law, Texas A&M University,
Texas A&M Professor William Byrnes is a highly influential legal authority: his 13 annual Lexis, Kluwer, and Tax Facts books and compendia have sold more than 150,000 print subscriptions and his Lexis books are accessed more than 20,000 times annually by government and private attorneys, as well as Big 4 accountants.
William Byrnes has been called "one of the leading authors and best-selling authors in the professional markets" (Richard Kravitz, Editor-in-Chief, CPA Journal, New York State Society of CPAs). His 1,000+ National Underwriter, Lexis, and Kluwer articles are cited by the mainstream financial press (e.g. Wall Street Journal) and trade sites, and referred to in Congressional hearings. In 2016, he was the 9th most downloaded tax professor on SSRN. A LexisNexis Director of Product Strategy & Development, Ray Camiscioli, stated, “In the field of international tax, Prof. William Byrnes is among LexisNexis’s best-selling authors and a leading authority in the fields of anti-money laundering and FATCA compliance.” In 2015, the FATCA Compliance Guide reached #2 for print/digital revenue for Lexis. Several book chapters and articles are downloadable at SSRN.
As an educational innovator, William Byrnes pioneered online education in the early nineties. His programs received praise for best practices pedagogy and have over 1,000 alumni. After peer review, the Fulbright Board (FFSB) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs elected him a Fulbright Specialist for pedagogy and for comparative taxation.
Senior Counsel & Tax Litigation Expert,
Tarun Gulati is a Senior Advocate practicing at the Supreme Court of India. He’s engaged to represent top Indian and multinational companies in extremely contentious matters before courts and tribunals throughout India. His practice areas include taxation, commercial disputes, regulatory litigation, competition and trade law. He is also qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
Founder & Managing Partner,
BMR Legal Advocates,
Mukesh Butani is Founder & Managing Partner of BMR Legal Advocates, a boutique law firm specializing in the areas of corporate international tax, transfer pricing, GST, customs and trade, with expertise in litigation services, controversy management, strategic transaction advisory and policy.
With specialization in domestic corporate international tax and transfer pricing, he has over three decades of experience in advising multinationals and Indian conglomerates on a wide range of matters relating to FDI policy, business re-organizations, cross-border tax structuring, tax controversy and regulatory policy. He is an acknowledged expert in the area of international tax policy, controversy & advocacy, and has to his credit several landmark judicial pronouncements. He has deposed as an expert witness on contentious cross-border tax treaty & TP matters in foreign jurisdictions.
Mukesh is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a bachelor's degree in Commerce and Law, and practices as an Advocate before various Tribunals, High Courts and the Supreme Court of India.
Founder & Editor,
Shailendra is a person with all the qualities of a good journalist: bold, fearless, a truth seeker, a straight talker and ruthless when the need arises. He has showcased his entrepreneurship building TIOL from the ground up at a time when e-journalism and tax news in India was at its infancy. Today, both taxpayers and taxmen in India start their day by surfing through TIOL. To celebrate an elaborate journey of twenty-plus years, TIOL recently launched the first comprehensive taxation awards in India to recognize all stakeholders, i.e., tax payers, tax collectors, tax advisors, tax technologists and the media.
Chief Finance Officer,
Prabin is the Chief Financial Officer of the Goods & Service Tax Network (GSTN), the technology backbone of India’s biggest tax reform.
He is an award-winning CFO and seasoned professional equipped with India’s best financial qualifications, i.e., CA, ICWA, CS and DISA. He is an active member of various industry chambers and bodies and contributes to various policy frameworks, mainly in finance and strategy. He is a thought leader and speaks in various forums on the future of finance, digital economy and other topics related to finance, strategy and innovation.
Prabin carries a rich experience of 22 years with Fortune 500, Big 4, management consulting, public private partnership (PPP) and start-up companies, specializing in driving the entire gamut of business and strategy.
Prabin is a mentor for startups as part of the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) at NITI Aayog. He has also been awarded CFO of the Year in 2017 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and was listed on the CFO Power List of 2019 in Technology by Google and as one of the top 100 CFOs by CFO India.
Rishabh Kumar Sawansukha,
BizStreet & GSTStreet
Rishabh is a seasoned tax, technology and business development professional with deep experience managing large and complex projects in the energy industry, information technology, e-commerce, FMCG, retail, healthcare and agribusiness. He also has a profound passion for tax policy research, tax media, the CFO world and the All India Chartered Accountant Society (AICAS). He has helped 50-plus industry & trade associations with consulting support in various aspects including finance, tax, compliance, change management, policy advisory, fiscal media, community commerce and project management. He has worked in global organizations such as Oracle, Schlumberger and Coca-Cola and has been an advisor to many Fortune 500 companies.
Mr. Shah was admitted to practice on 7th November 1987. Mr. Shah has been practicing as an independent counsel in the Honorable Supreme Court, various High Courts (Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Rajasthan, Punjab & Haryana), Tribunals (ITAT, CESTAT, NCLT, Central Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, and the PMLA/FEMA Tribunal), and other judicial forums.
Mr. Shah represents cases before different forums in relation to GST, customs duties, service tax, VAT, income tax and transfer pricing, issues under DTAAs, ex-im policy issues, trade remedial issues under WTO, FEMA, corporate and constitutional law issues. Mr. Shah has also appeared in various bilateral investment treaty arbitrations.
Mr. Shah has represented in significant litigations clients from various industries including oil and gas, pharmaceutical, gem and jewelry, real estate, retail, e-commerce, automotive, alcohol and beverages, insurance, banking and projects & infrastructure. Mr. Shah has successfully represented clients in over 350 reported cases before various judicial forums.
Mr. Shah has been repeatedly recognized as one of Asia's and India's leading tax controversy lawyers in Chambers and partners in Asia Pacific, International Tax Review, World Tax, Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific, and various other publications. Mr. Shah has also been awarded as the Indian "Tax Lawyer of the Year" at the Legal Era Awards 2020.
Mr. Shah has been appointed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in India as India's Representative and Governor on the Board of Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia ("ERIA"). The appointment is for a period of three years.
Senior Vice President,
Ramesh Khaitan has completed his B. Com (Hons.) and LL. B from Calcutta University and Bar at Law from the Calcutta Bar Association. He is currently working as Senior Vice President (Global Tax Head) for Lupin Limited, a multinational pharma company having a global turnover of US $2.56 billion and operations spread over as many as 12 countries. Before that, he was working as Head of Tax for the Ispat Group in Calcutta. He commands over 28 years of professional excellence in corporate tax, transfer pricing, search and seizure matters, tax planning, appellate matters, international taxation, outbound investments (overseas acquisition) and offshore transactions.
Ramesh also serves on the Direct Taxation Committee of the Indian Merchant Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai, the Taxation Committee of FICCI on pharma and life sciences, IFA India and the Taxation Committee of CII. He is a regular speaker in various tax seminars organized by ICA, Taxsutra, the Merchant Chamber of Commerce, IFA India and others, and he contributes tax articles on various subjects on a regular basis to Taxsutra and other tax magazines.
Vice President & JAPAC Controller, Global Controller Organization,
Gopal is a finance leader with 3 decades of experience in corporate finance, controllership, M&A, treasury, taxation, corporate secretarial & legal. He has served many corporate boards in the capacity of non-independent director. He has been with Oracle for the last 16+ years and is currently the Vice President and JAPAC Controller, managing the financial controllership, US GAAP, local statutory accounting, mergers & acquisition, treasury for the region, audits, risk and compliance. Prior to joining Oracle, he worked at senior level with an international bank in India and abroad, and a software company. He is a regular speaker in professional institutes, business schools and industrial forums on finance, technology and leadership.
Gopal has qualifications in Company Secretary, Cost & Management Accounting, and Chartered Accounting, and completed his executive management program from IIM (Indian Institute of Management) in Bangalore. His passion for risk and compliance led him to do a postgrad diploma in criminology and forensic science and a Masters in psychology. He is a certified six sigma Green Belt, avid blogger and business mentor coach.
JD LL.M., Principal, Tax Department,,
Marks Paneth LLP,
Mark Baran, JD LL.M., is a Principal in the Tax Department at Marks Paneth LLP. He has more than 25 years of specialized tax, transactional and legal experience advising publicly-traded and private companies, regulated financial institutions, investors, high net worth individuals, and government agencies.
Mr. Baran provides specialized tax consulting and transactional services to a broad spectrum of clients and industries including the public sector. He routinely provides tax opinions on the tax implications of proposed transactions, products, services and initiatives, and serves as a firm resource in the areas of financial services and products, regulatory compliance and planning, lending transactions and payment obligations, tax information reporting, expert witness support, asset management and tax controversies. Mr. Baran also advises governments in developing countries on the design and implementation of tax and fiscal reform programs. Areas of expertise include M&A planning and due diligence, corporate reorganizations and dissolution, financing transactions, S corporations, tax and policy administration, and specialized cross border transactions.
His distinguished career encompasses public accounting, the public sector, private legal practice and as an industry advocate and expert. Most recently, he was a director in the national tax office and a federal practice tax leader for a Big Four accounting firm. Mr. Baran also practiced law at a prominent law firm in Washington DC, served as a director and senior tax counsel for a leading financial services trade association, and worked as a senior attorney for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He is a frequent writer and speaker, and taught advanced tax courses at industry and practitioner events including courses at the George Washington University Law School and Stonier Graduate School of Banking (University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School). Mr. Baran also participated in international programs and committees, and appeared before several federal courts including as amicus for the US Supreme Court, US Tax Court and the US Federal Court of Appeals.
Vinod Kumar & Associates,
Aastha Jain, a commerce graduate from Delhi University, is a qualified Chartered Accountant (2011), Company Secretary (2012), and Masters in Business Finance (2013).
She is Partner with Vinod Kumar & Associates, Chartered Accountants, Delhi and Gurgaon since August 2011. The firm is among the leading financial, tax advisory & assurance firms in India. She worked for 3.5 years in Audit & Assurance for Deloitte, Haskins & Sells from June 2007 to November 2010.
She successfully completed the one-year Masters in Business Finance Certificate Course by ICAI in 2013 with an all-India rank of 16. She has also done a Certificate Course in Indirect Taxes from ICAI in 2015.
She specializes in the field of direct and international taxation and risk advisory. She has a post-qualification experience of 9 years in full time practice. She has accumulated rich experience in almost all fields of professional services, industrial sectors, and diverse clients. She has developed expertise in practice domains ranging from auditing, income tax and international tax. She has advised and represented leading multinational and transnational players on complex issues such as representations of cases at the assessment to the appellate stage (ITAT), advisory on mitigating the impact of income tax at both the corporate and expatriate level. In advising corporates, she has developed further specialization in areas dealing with highly litigated issues such as the concept of permanent establishments (PEs) and transfer pricing. She is also engaged in the consulting of complex issues relating to formulation of strategy and structures. She has also represented clients before CBI, RBI and other regulatory bodies.