PwC: Six Months Later, Executives Still Optimistic About Tax Reform

Originally Published by PwC.

Most C-suite executives (79%) believe tax reform savings give their company an opportunity to make strategic business investments not possible in the past, according PwC’s survey, How Tax Reform affects Business Strategy. PwC surveyed 403 US C-Suite executives to research how businesses will reform at a strategic level to optimize the 2017 US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).


Eighty-one percent of executives say that their companies have created a long-term strategy for investing tax reform savings. Over the next year, companies expect to invest across a variety of areas that range from their workforce (87%) to growth initiatives such as R&D (61%), digital capabilities (54%) and M&A (51%).

“Employee bonuses, wage increases, or stock buybacks have gotten a lot of attention in response to tax reform, but these appear to be primarily concentrated in some of the largest public companies,” says Dr. Deniz Caglar, cost transformation principal at PwC Strategy&. “Our survey suggests that the impact of tax reform has only just begun. Executives across companies have taken stock of the implications of the tax reform for their companies and are now looking to invest in a range of areas.”

Key findings from the Fit for Growth Tax & Business Reform Pulse Survey:

  • 79% of executives say tax reform savings allow them an opportunity to make strategic investments that were not possible in the past
  • 89% say their company has experienced savings as a result of tax reform and these savings will have implications for how they run their businesses.
  • So far this year, companies have already made investments in a range of initiatives as a result of tax reform:
    • 63% of executives say they have invested in their workforce, including hiring (24%), raising wages (24%), contributions to retirement plans (22%), expanding benefits (21%), reskilling (21%), one-time employee bonus (18%)
    • 62% have invested in strategy and capabilities, including digital capabilities (23%), R&D (22%), long-term strategy (22%), cybersecurity (20%), M&A (19%), new service/product offering (18%)
    • 30% have invested in corporate finance, including paying off debt (20%), executing share buybacks (15%)
  • In the next year, executives plan to invest in a variety of areas:
    • Eight in ten (80%) plan to pump cash into growing stronger capabilities: R&D (61%), long-term strategy (58%), digital capabilities (54%), cybersecurity (54%), M&A (51%), new service/product offering (48%)
    • 87% of executives plan to use tax savings to benefit their workforce in one or more ways: hiring (65%), raising wages (62%), expanding benefits (59%), reskilling (54%), contributions to retirement plans (50%), one-time employee bonus (49%)
  • 78% say that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes the US more attractive for their company’s business
  • 30% say they’re likely to make geographic changes as a direct result of tax reform

“The Tax Cuts and Job Act demanded executives’ immediate attention but that attention must now be placed on how the investments of their savings provide a long-term competitive advantage for their company. The future of their business may just depend on it,” added John Ranke, PwC Partner and Americas Value Chain Transformation Leader.

For more information and additional findings, visit www.pwc.com/reformyourbusiness.

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