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Aussie companies hesitant about tax transparency code, survey reveals

The majority of Australian companies have no immediate plans to sign up to the Voluntary Tax Code in Australia, according to recent survey of corporate accountants.

Aussie companies hesitant about tax transparency code, survey reveals
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  • mbrownlee
  • September 12, 2016
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The Board of Taxation’s Voluntary Tax Transparency Code is a set of principles and standards designed to guide organisations with an Australian turnover of $100 million or greater towards greater transparency.

The online survey conducted by Wolters Kluwer indicated that 40 per cent of corporate accountants were unsure their organisation would sign up to the code while 14 per cent said their company had no plans to sign up.

Only 46 per cent of respondents were sure their organisation would sign up.

From the accountants that were surveyed, however, 54 per cent admitted their organisation may be at risk of greater scrutiny if they didn’t sign up to the code, while 25 per cent said they wouldn’t be at greater risk and 21 per cent were unsure.

Many of the accountants surveyed weren’t sure their organisation had access to all the information required to produce a disclosure, with 39 per cent of accountants unsure about this, 15 per cent stating they did not have access to all the information required, while 46 per cent said they did have access.

Wolters Kluwer managing director of corporate reporting solutions Peter Boyle said there is an expectation from the community that large business will be more publicly transparent about their tax affairs and it will in effect be a turning point in the culture of equitable tax.

“The goal is for senior management teams to be actively involved in the decision to adopt the code and it ultimately lead to greater and higher quality of information,” said Mr Boyle.

“One thing that we are confident about is with the introduction of the code, organisations in Australia have the potential to share their corporate tax obligations with the person in the street and keep interested users such as shareholders, analysts, investors and social interest groups better informed about their contributions to the tax system.”

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