Tax transparency reporting by the Top 50 JSE-listed firms

11 Jul 2016

As a result of increased regulatory focus on a number of firms‟ tax behaviour, tax compliance is now recognised as a source of reputational risk. Transparency on the reporting of tax related matters in public corporate reports could mitigate a firm‟s reputational tax risk. In this study, we develop a framework to evaluate tax transparency in such reports. This framework is then applied to the corporate reports of 50 large firms in South Africa to identify the performance of these firms in terms of the framework. We find that 86 per cent of the firms comply with more than 70 per cent of the mandatory tax reporting requirements. We also show that 50 per cent of the firms are transparent regarding their disclosure of tax strategy and risk management, tax figures and performance, their total tax contribution and the wider economic impact of their tax behaviour. The greatest improvement is required in disclosure regarding tax strategy and risk management and the total tax contribution and the wider economic impact.