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How Companies can Pursue Transparency and Responsible Tax Behaviour

Monday, September 2, 2019

Public debate and scrutiny are increasing on Corporate tax payments. Tax matters are, therefore, increasingly included in companies’ wider social responsibility strategies with the objective of aligning tax policy with the company’s sustainability targets and developing a more responsible tax behaviour. Discover how CSR Europe new can support your company’s journey towards tax responsibility.

 

By paying taxes where they operate, businesses contribute to public finances, ensuring the efficient functioning of essential public services, such as public education, health care and infrastructures. However, in recent years, the actual amount of taxes multinational companies pays came under public scrutiny due to the use of artificial arrangements, such as aggressive and artificial tax avoidance schemes.

What is the added value of responsible tax behaviour?

Being tax responsible and transparent is key to rebuild social trust in companies and address the growing expectations from the public and policymakers alike. When tax behaviour is coherent and aligned to a wider sustainable business strategy, companies will be able to show their contribution to society, manage their reputation and increase their social credentials.

How can your company build a responsible and transparent tax behaviour?

CSR Europe developed a three step-approach to support companies in their journey to responsible and transparent tax behaviour.

STEP 1: PREPARATION.

  • Completion of the Responsible Tax Behaviour Self-Assessment Questionnaire by your Tax and CSR Managers to identify whether your company has adequate internal processes and measures in place to implement its tax strategies;
  • Benchmark of the score against the ideal situation in the 6 thematic areas of tax responsibility.

STEP 2: INTERNAL BUY-IN.

  • Delivery of the Internal Workshop to bridge and promote communication between CSR and tax department, linking tax with sustainability and upgrading tax in your company’s sustainability vision and strategy;
  • Support in making the business case;
  • Sharing of current best practices and trends;
  • Provision of cases from front-runners’ companies.

STEP 3: EXTERNAL FEEDBACK.

  • Test your tax strategy with External Stakeholder Dialogue, involving other companies, national policymakers, and relevant actors to discuss current and future plans.

Companies have also the option to undertake only one or more steps according to their needs.

The Three-Step approach was developed from the methodology and experiences collected in the Blueprint for Responsible and Transparent Tax Behaviour. The document, released in collaboration with PwC Netherlands, contains many practical examples of the benefits of tax responsibility from leading company partners.

A similar approach has been developed also for National Partner Organisations (NPOs) to help their members assessing the level of transparency and responsibility of their tax behaviour, identifying gaps and areas of improvements.

 

For more information:

Paula Byrne

Director of Sustainability Management & Networks

pb@csreurope.org

 

 Elisa Casazza

Project Manager

ec@csreurope.org