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Pat Billingham has over 35 years experience in tax, as an Inspector of Taxes, a tax partner at EY, a non-executive director with specific interest in risk management, and as an academic tax researcher.
Pat moved into tax consultancy with EY after a 13 year career at the UK Inland Revenue (now HMRC). She was made partner with EY in 1995 and during a career spanning 25 years, Pat developed a strong understanding of business with a particular focus on large corporates with an international presence. Pat worked closely with clients to develop tax strategies that responded to and reflected the complexity of their business models, but which also addressed the risk management issues arising from the implementation of tax planning, including ethical and reputational matters. In working with international clients Pat also developed a wide knowledge of the way in which tax authorities around the world approach audits, deal with tax appeals and generally administer the law. Pat also represented clients in negotiations with HMRC and worked with colleagues from EY’s international network to facilitate tax settlements in overseas jurisdictions. Throughout her career with EY Pat has presented at client and internal seminars on tax matters, including leading EY’s National Training function for a period of 3 years.
After leaving EY in 2012, Pat has been appointed to a number of non-executive roles across a range of businesses, some of which are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. In her non-executive career to date Pat has seen the role of the tax director being of far more interest to Boards than was the case during her time as an EY tax partner. The increasing publicity surrounding the tax planning of a number of household name global companies has raised the profile of tax as a risk management issue for Boards, with particular concerns about reputational and ethical issues.
Pat has been working with Dr Ann Hansford from Exeter University co-authoring a number of articles and conference papers. Pat’s extensive experience within EY, HMRC and as a non-executive director is invaluable in the current research work investigating how increased public awareness impacts on the tax planning undertaken by large multi-nationals. The research focuses on the management of tax risk in general and reputational risk in particular for large corporates. While the public awareness is often superficial, the fairness debate has taken hold and is of major public and government concern, and the research is adding to this current debate.