Emerging Leader: Karin Li

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Karin Li

Is there a connection between tax and math? To Karin Li, there certainly is. During her MBA studies, her professor assigned her a research project related to estate tax law, leading Li to make a discovery that would impact her professional life. “I found tax to be incredibly complex and technical. It interested me, since it involved both math and law,” she explains.

Transfer Pricing Guru

Fast-forward to today. Li, tax manager, transfer pricing, at Perrigo Company PLC, is, not surprisingly, deep in the weeds of transfer pricing, which she finds to be “extremely dynamic . . . touching laws in different jurisdictions.” Transfer pricing (TP) issues, she says, have become a key discussion point for all multinational tax players. “Along with comprehensive exposure to all aspects of corporate tax, I found my calling in transfer pricing. My past experience showed me the value of work experience within the decision-making of transfer pricing and how it impacts tax strategy,” she explains.

The most interesting tax law issue she’s encountered at her current job? Her response is straightforward: the global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI), base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT), and foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) provisions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Fast-Paced Environment

Li enjoys the fast-paced environment at Perrigo, a pharmaceutical and consumer health care products company that she describes as “full of highly effective individuals.” Li also likes working on process improvement projects. “One example that comes to mind,” she says, “is, in collaboration with our finance team, we created a semiautomated data collection process in the form of an intercompany transaction matrix. I was able to track IC transactions not only for annual TP documentation, but also for BEAT and FDII. The semiautomated data collection process enhanced consistency of the data. It also reduced forty percent of the preparation time for summarizing IC transactions for TP documentation.”

Impact of TEI

TEI, Li says, is a great collaborative organization that serves as a platform for networking and sharing professional experiences and best practices in corporate tax. “It also serves as a great resource for ongoing training for tax professionals,” she adds.

Attracting Younger Members   

TEI can attract younger members through “scholarship expansion,” she says. In addition to existing scholarships, TEI could expand scholarships to include a limited quantity of free memberships. “Recipients of free membership scholarships must serve as TEI student advocates, by promoting TEI at certain student events,” she explains.

In addition, she says, TEI can recruit student members during university career fairs to attract younger members. “Having a presence during student events can offer early exposure to a fulfilling career in tax, while promoting the benefits of TEI membership,” she says.

Finally, Li says, TEI can attract younger members through mentorship programs that can be established to guide and fast-track younger professionals in tax careers.

When not immersed in transfer pricing issues, Li enjoys international travel and dancing. And she has also been a working model in a major Hollywood movie. (Sorry, no further details.)

Things to Know About Karin Li

Title: Tax Manager, Transfer Pricing
Organization: Perrigo Company PLC
TEI Chapter: Western Michigan
Education: M.B.A. in finance, Western Michigan University; bachelor of economics in finance, Beijing Normal University
Birthplace: Chongqing, China
Hobbies: Travel, dancing

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