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Public tax transparency benchmark study

Building stakeholders’ trust through sustainable disclosures

Where is public tax transparency headed?

For tax experts taking on responsibilities in the area of public tax transparency, it’s important to understand what their peers and best market practice are doing or intend to do. But it’s not just a matter for tax specialists: as the topic moves rapidly up the public and corporate agendas, tax transparency is a topic that has to be understood by any corporate decisionmaker – and a matter that no longer concerns the tax function alone, but involves areas throughout the organisation.

To address this increasingly pressing need, we have dedicated this paper on public tax transparency to an updated benchmark study for 2021 and more detailed conclusions on where the trends may be headed.



Tax transparency is a topic that has to be understood by any corporate decisionmaker.

Scope and results of the benchmark study

To ensure that the 2021 results are comparable with the 2019 and 2020 editions, we have not changed the scope of the benchmark study. Once again we have analysed the disclosure levels of 50 of the most noteworthy Swissbased companies across ten different industries.

As in the last two years, we distinguish between three different areas of disclosure: Tax Strategy and Risk Control Framework (TSRCF), Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) and/or Total Tax Contribution (TTC). Each area is assigned to the classes ‘Minimal’, ‘Medium’ and ‘Advanced’ according to pre-defined criteria (comprehensive information on the areas and criteria are available in the methodology section in the appendix). Based on that, we have evaluated the companies’ overall public tax transparency level.

This analysis was conducted from 2018 up to 2021. By comparing the data from 2018, 2019 and 2020 with the results from 2021, we have attempted to identify a trend.



We analysed the disclosure levels of 50 of the most noteworthy Swissbased companies across ten different industries


In our 2020 survey we found that 62% of the companies in scope provided Minimal disclosure on their tax affairs (-4% versus 2019). Of the companies examined, 36% met the standard of Medium disclosure (+4%), whereas 2% of the respondents finished in the Advanced category in terms of Overall Public Tax Transparency (no change to the prior year).


We know from talking with clients that tax transparency is high on the internal agenda. Companies are seeing that tax transparency sends a powerful message about their commitment to the environment and society. They’re understanding that with the agreed amendment to the EU Accounting Directive on 21 December 2021, public CbCR will no longer be voluntary, and that other tax transparency initiatives globally are forcing the agenda.
They’re also realising that carefully considered tax transparency, including a compelling narrative, is an opportunity rather than a risk or inconvenience. It’s only a matter of time before these realisations translate into firm disclosure – at whatever point on the scale between minimal and advanced.

The message is that while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to tax transparency, it’s something that has to be thought about and prepared for now. Do you have a tax strategy? How important is tax transparency for you? How prepared are you? What data will you need, and where will you extract it?

Download the study for more exclusive insights

Public tax transparency benchmark study 2020

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Public tax transparency benchmark study 2019

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Contact us

Charalambos  Antoniou

Charalambos Antoniou

Director, Tax Function Design and Tax Transparency Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 47 16

Stuart Jones

Stuart Jones

Director, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 45 16