A sobering reading of tax reform impacts on economic growth was presented by tax professionals in an executive workshop sponsored by Grant Thornton and Bloomberg Tax. The presenters followed up with advice for companies to invest in operations, resources and tech.
“I don’t see a lot of evidence that tax reform is a game changer,” said Bank of the West’s Executive Vice President and Chief Economist Scott Anderson. “We actually slowed down between the fourth quarter and the first quarter.” Anderson noted that indicators of consumer and business confidence surged in anticipation of the reform bill’s passage but are now “rolling over. You’re actually sensing some negative or bigger declines in PMI [purchasing managers’ indexes], services, businesses.”
The key, said Dana Lance
, Greater Bay Area Leader of Grant Thornton’s State and Local Tax practice, is a perspective on the big picture rather than a narrow focus on taxes: “I think tax reform forced people to consider their business, and their tax positions, and I think part of that is resulting in a really strategic look at operations overall. Companies are really having to step back and evaluate their overall business, not just their tax positions.”
Lance and Anderson were joined by tax professionals from the Milken Institute, Uber, the city and county of San Francisco, and Social Capital in speaking to tax reform’s economic challenges and opportunities.
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Greater Bay Area Leader, State and Local Tax Practice
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