The survey has been conducted regularly since 2006, charting the evolution of leading tax departments and identifying operational benchmarks for high-performing tax teams.

Key points:

For the 2012 survey, 1,150 heads of tax in 22 countries (50 respondents in 21 countries and 100 in the US) took part in blind telephone surveys to share their opinions on how tax departments are adapting to current challenges. About 700 of respondent companies are Fortune 500, Forbes 2000 or equivalent.

The survey reveals that forward-thinking tax directors face a difficult dilemma: as tax compliance burdens and disputes continue to mount, their departments will meet greater challenges in managing these obligations while improving their performance and focusing on the more value-adding aspects of the tax department's role.

This current survey shows that the lessons of our 2009 report — that transforming the performance of the tax department requires getting accountability, standardisation and connectivity right — are now even more important.

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