Q&A with Advisory Committee Chair of the Commodity Tax Symposium Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor sat down with CPA Canada to share his thoughts on the future of the commodity tax landscape in Canada, and to tell us what he looks forward to seeing at this year’s Commodity Tax Symposium.

Richard Taylor is Senior Director, Commodity Tax at Rogers Communications, and this year’s Advisory Committee Chair for our Commodity Tax Symposium. Richard sat down with CPA Canada to share his thoughts on the future of the commodity tax landscape in Canada, and to tell us what he looks forward to seeing at this year’s Symposium. After more than a decade working in Commodity Tax, he looks forward to helping make our 38th annual Commodity Tax Symposium in Ottawa the best one yet.


Q: What impact does the changing indirect tax landscape have on your career?


This is a very exciting time for all of us in the tax world, as advancing technology will drastically change how consultants and businesses approach commodity tax over the next ten years. I think compliance roles will be the first to see important changes, plus I think everyone is wondering how artificial intelligence will impact advisory functions. 


As the leader of a large commodity tax group, I am constantly gauging how to derive the most from these opportunities while optimizing the internal resources available to me. I cannot help but wonder how these new technologies will impact the accounting and legal professions.


Q: How can organizations ensure they are equipping their people with the right knowledge and support to adapt to change?


The importance of training can never be overstated when dealing with taxation. It’s where new skills are acquired and new ways of doing things are offered; organizations can use this opportunity to create a “best-in-class” environment and to retain the right mix of people. In that sense, the annual Symposium is key to bringing skilled individuals together to share knowledge among themselves — and it represents one of the best ways for everyone to adapt to this fast-moving environment.  


Q: We’re honoured to have you as Chair of our Advisory Committee for this year’s Commodity Tax Symposium. What can attendees look forward to this year?


I am the one who is actually honoured to have been asked to take on this role. As Chair, I am very excited for this year’s event. First, we are back in Ottawa and we are thrilled at the prospect of once again meeting with colleagues from the CRA and department of finance.  Second, the quality of the presentations and speakers will once again be outstanding this year. I am particularly proud of the number of presentations (virtually twice as many at this year’s Symposium), new topics, as well as the strongest ratio of female presenters we have had yet. We also have technical papers for more than half of our presentations, which serves as an excellent resource for our attendees. Our content also reflects our desire to reach out even more to our participants from both Western Canada and Quebec. Simply look at this year’s agenda and you too will be convinced. We are back in more than one way in Ottawa.


Q: What is the importance of being at a national Symposium that focuses on your specialty?


I think the importance of networking, the opportunity to see familiar faces as well as establish new connections can never be over-emphasized. Although the frantic pace of presentations can at times seem intimidating, the knowledge acquired during the few days we have together never ceases to amaze me. Finally, the more relaxed pace at night, where participants intermingle and share personal stories, brings a more relaxed feel to the Symposium.


Interested in joining us in Ottawa this year? Register here to sign up for either the in-person or the virtual experience.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interview subject and do not necessarily reflect those of CPA Canada.