The Nordic tax transparency landscape
In the past decade, companies’ approach to tax has increasingly been recognised as matter of public interest and as an indicator of responsible business conduct. This recognition, by the wider public and companies themselves, combined with the essential role of tax revenues in funding government action, achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and now supporting the green transition, has led to a demand and expectation of transparency by companies on their tax contributions and responsible approach to tax.
Therefore, after analysing the annual reports, sustainability reports, tax policies, and separate tax reports from 151 listed and unlisted companies across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, we are presenting a snapshot of public tax reporting in the Nordics and how it compares to the expectations set out in GRI 207, the Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability reporting standard for tax.
A study based on 151 companies
Together with our Nordic colleagues, we are providing you with this analysis of 151 companies in the Nordics giving great insights into the current state of tax transparency in the Nordics and for each country individually.
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.
Of companies assessed use parts or all of GRI reporting framework
Of companies assessed have public tax policies
Tax transparency in Finland
We assessed the tax disclosures of the 25 companies forming the OMX Helsinki 25, Finland’s top tier market index, and added a few additional listed and unlisted companies, arriving at a final number of 32 companies.
In Finland, we found the largest share of companies preparing their sustainability reports in accordance with the GRI reporting framework, although few companies also report in line with GRI 207.
For companies within the scope of our benchmark study, we are happy to go through your own results and assist in improving your tax transparency reporting. We help companies operating in different industries, regardless of size, in developing tax transparency reporting.
This year’s results show that we have witnessed an increasing interest in tax transparency and reporting in Finland and we can only expect this interest to continue to grow in the next couple of years and upcoming sustainability reporting regulations. With Finland’s high adoption rate of the GRI standards, we are curious to see the evolution of tax reporting and sustainability reporting in general.