New edition of The GRI Perspective explores tax as a sustainability topic

Taxation — What does the level say about how much companies contribute in operating communities and societies and why is full tax transparency momentum gathering pace, in markets around the world? The GRI Perspective: We need to talk about tax addresses these key questions, charting the convergence behind one reporting standard. GRI 207: Tax. launched in 2019, the GRI Tax Standard is the first and only global standard for public, country-by-country reporting on tax, tax strategy and governance.

Following growing demands from stakeholders for meaningful information on tax practices of companies the Tax Standard was developed. Thus, it is hardly shocking that the recent investor-led pressure on Amazon called for public reporting on tax according to GRI 207. Meanwhile, the newly launched draft UN Tax Convention Bill is aligned with GRI.  

Advancing from solely legal and financial issues, the ever increasing tax debate includes governance, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder engagement – and the role of tax in the Sustainable Development Goals. — signifying that the view that companies should not regard tax as a ‘material’ topic for disclosure is increasingly untenable.

Dave Reubzaet, GRI’s newly appointed Director of Capital Markets, said:

“Sometimes it seems like everyone – governments, investors, civil society – is talking about tax. And with good reason! Taxes have a key role to play in funding national and global priorities, reducing inequality and financing the low-carbon transition. Fundamentally, the world cannot address the collective sustainability challenges we face without tax.

Investors, in particular, regard tax transparency as a highly relevant topic when it comes to their reporting expectations for companies. That is why consistent and comparable reporting – at the country-by-country level – is needed, as enabled by GRI 207. This is about ensuring that tax is an ‘engine for good’, positively contributing towards socio-economic cohesion, environmental value, and long-term prosperity.”

GRI  has developed a topic Standard on Tax when studying the vital role tax contributions have on sustainable development. Developed by a multi-stakeholder expert group, GRI 207 — published in December 2019 — and is freely available in nine languages.

There is a training course on GRI 207, to equip reporting organizations and business practitioners with its features by the GRI Academy .

Launched in January 2022, The GRI Perspective is a regular series of briefings, investigating topical themes in the world of sustainability reporting:

Issue 1: A business case for environment and society – studies the latest changes in the reporting landscape

Issue 2: Towards stakeholder capitalism: how we can get there – moving to a stakeholder-centric model  and impacts for corporate transparency

Issue 3: The materiality madness: why definitions matter – contrassting issues such as impact, financial and double materiality

Issue 4: ESG standards, frameworks and everything in between – the significance of standards, — consistent and comparable reporting

Source: GRI