Tax strategy and corporate reputation: a tax issue, a business issue

16th Annual Global CEO Survey: A focus on tax

Governments, regulators and the public are focusing on corporate tax practices in a way we haven’t seen before. And over a third of CEOs expressed the view that a lack of trust in their actions on the part of these stakeholders would pose a serious threat to their business growth.

So it comes as a surprise to see how far down managing corporate reputation is on the CEO priority list, with almost half not claiming this as a priority for 2013. A further surprise is that although CEOs told us they consider their tax burden the number-one threat to growth, half of businesses did not plan to prioritise tax strategy this year.

This presents a serious risk. Tax is on the agenda of an increasing number of stakeholders — and more tied than ever to corporate reputation. Tax strategy and managing this link to corporate reputation should become a higher strategic focus for business in 2013.