Tax transparency and sustainability reporting in 2023

A study on tax reporting by 269 companies listed in Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, Spain, and the UK

Tax transparency: why companies are increasingly publishing country-specific sustainability reporting

  • The variety of criteria complicates uniform sustainability reporting and increases complexity
  • Tax reporting varies significantly by country, industry and regulatory framework
  • The tax transparency of companies in Germany, Switzerland and Austria has increased over the last year
  • Companies in the EU are more inclined to publish a public, country-specific report

Tax transparency and sustainability reporting in 2023

The PwC study "Tax transparency and sustainability reporting in 2023", which analyses the tax and sustainability reporting of leading listed companies from eight different countries, shows that the variety of standards and methods being used leads to greater complexity. Close cooperation in the areas of tax and sustainability as well as clear and consistent communication between companies, stakeholders and regulators are essential.

Different countries, different strategies

The importance of clear and uniform tax strategies for companies becomes apparent when comparing countries. While in the UK (100%) and Spain (97%) almost all companies assessed publish or mention their tax strategy, in Austria, Switzerland and Ireland this ratio falls to about half of the companies assessed.

“Developing a company’s tax strategy can help create a clear understanding of the group’s tax objectives and processes that is available to all employees and management and applied in all countries. It can also be a cornerstone in managing tax risks and communicating with other stakeholders.”

Charalambos Antoniou, Tax Function Design and Tax Transparency Leader, PwC Switzerland

Swiss companies focused on transparency

Although there is no public tax transparency legislation in Switzerland, many Swiss companies are very willing to disclose their tax strategies. Especially in the financial services sector, some Swiss companies even outperform competitors from the EU and other countries in this regard. Last year, more than half of the Swiss companies surveyed published a tax strategy, and seven of them even published a stand-alone tax transparency report. The best-ranked Swiss companies in this study, in alphabetical order, were Adecco, Holcim, Nestle, Partners Group, Richemont, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance. 

About this study

The study is based on 269 listed companies from Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa, Austria and the United Kingdom. Four key frameworks were considered for the study – the GRI 207: Tax 2019 standard, the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessments Tax Strategy Criterion, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the World Economic Forum’s Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism report.

Download the study for further insights

Previous studies:

Public tax transparency benchmark study 2022

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Public tax transparency benchmark study 2021

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Public tax transparency benchmark study 2020

Download here

Contact us

Charalambos  Antoniou

Charalambos Antoniou

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

Tel: +41 58 792 47 16

Stuart Jones

Stuart Jones

Partner, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 45 16