Vantage Viewpoints- How the Tax and Legal Departments Work Together to Add Value


In this issue’s Vantage Viewpoints, Randy Short, Vice President, Taxation, at The New York Times Company, answers Sutherland Tax Partner Marc Simonetti’s questions about The New York Times Company’s Tax Department. Winner of the 2010 International Law Global Counsel Award for Corporate Tax Individual of the Year, Randy delves into how the tax team contributes to the company’s profitability and describes the manner in which the tax staff and legal division collaborate on projects. Send your questions for the Vantage Viewpoints section to

From your perspective, how does the Tax Department add value to The New York Times Company?

The tax team at The New York Times Company adds value to the business in four principal areas: tax planning, tax compliance, tax accounting and tax audits.

-Tax Planning: Our role in this area is to structure all federal, state, local and international tax matters in a manner that maximizes the company’s utilization of available tax benefits and minimizes our tax liabilities within the confines of the law. While a large portion of our tax planning involves determining the best manner to structure acquisitions and other investments, it also involves items such as interpreting and integrating the effect of changes in tax law.

-Tax Compliance: We ensure that the company is in compliance with all federal, state, local and international tax laws. To that end, among other things, we prepare and file all required tax returns and tax reports and ensure the timely payment of taxes to the relevant government agencies.

-Tax Accounting: The Tax Department is responsible for computing tax expense for each quarter as well as for the year. These calculations are included in the Forms 10-Q and 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and are a critical component of the calculation of earnings per share for the relevant reporting period. The calculation of tax expense is an intricate and involved process requiring detailed knowledge of both the tax laws and the accounting rules.

Tax Audits: The Tax Department handles the tax audits for the company. As a large publicly traded company, and by virtue of the size of our revenues, we are continually subject to audit. We work to keep the audits up to date and to resolve them in a manner satisfactory to the company and the taxing authorities.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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