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Transparent communication has never been more important in the world of tax. A decisive factor in maintaining and improving a reputation as a company solely depends on transparent communication with stakeholders. In recent years, tax has gone from being a specialised and technical topic to being recognised as a key lever of sustainability efforts, while companies’ tax behaviour often is scrutinised.

Leading companies are setting the bar high, standard setters are designing reporting frameworks everyone can follow and understand the demands that not only the public and investors are setting but also lawmakers and regulators due to the increasing focus on tax transparency and honest and clear communication.

We at KPMG strongly believe that transparency is a legitimate expectation and a cornerstone to responsible tax behaviour. Therefore, as the Nordic countries are often at the forefront of sustainability issues, we have decided to assess how some of the biggest listed companies in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden were reporting on their tax affairs in 2022 and how many were actually reporting using The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.1 GRI 207 was chosen as a benchmark as it is one of the main and most comprehensive sustainability reporting standards for tax.

A study of 100+ companies

Together with our Nordic colleagues, we are providing you with this analysis of 100+ companies found in each country’s national market index giving great insights into the current state of tax transparency in the Nordics and for each country individually. In the report, you will find that we can expect a majority of large MNEs to publish tax disclosures on an annual basis – with both a qualitative and a quantitative component even before the EU Public CbCR directive enters into force.

1) In 2019, (GRI) published a new standard on tax disclosure as part of their widely recognised sustainability reporting framework. GRI 207:TAX, the first ESG reporting standard for tax, sets expectations both on qualitative and quantitative tax disclosures and became applicable for GRI users for sustainability reporting on 1 January 2021.