The tax staff tends to work in a reactive mode, whereby it passes judgment on operational decisions after they have occurred. By doing so, some operational activities must be altered after they have been initiated, due to unfavorable tax results, while in other cases the tax staff must scramble to mitigate unfavorable tax situations.
These concerns can be eliminated by assigning senior members of the tax staff to the various business units as tax advisors. This is by no means full-time work; it is intended only to give each business unit manager an assigned tax contact who is available to answer taxation-related questions, as well as to review business plans for activities that may have a tax impact. This is likely to result in monthly meetings between the two parties. This approach is also a good way to develop close links between the tax department and other areas of the company, so that tax staff are considered to be helpful resources.