The 19th Annual Global CEO Survey

CEO perspectives on Tax

PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey reveals that seven in 10 CEOs are still concerned about the increasing tax burden borne by their businesses – some 15 percentage points higher than the levels of anxiety seen in 2012.

Many countries are facing enormous debt burdens and the priority for many governments has been to ensure that their tax systems generate the revenue they expect. Corporate taxation has become a matter of significant public interest. This is no surprise. People are more concerned during difficult economic times about where tax revenue is coming from and that everyone, particularly those with the most, are paying their fair share.

As taxing authorities turn their attention to the practical implementation of the the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) recommendations, many companies are facing a future where much more detailed tax and financial information is required of them. In the coming years CEOs across the world will find themselves in a new environment that demands far greater transparency about their tax affairs. 

71% of CEOs are acutely aware of how business's approach to tax
85% of CEOs agree that they wil have to address wider stakeholder needs in five years' time

As CEOs strive to meet wider stakeholder expectations, does tax have a role to play?

From the results of the CEO survey, it is clear that for many CEOs the purpose of their business is not simply to generate as much profit as possible for their investors but also to benefit their employees, the communities where they operate and society more generally. Increasingly, businesses are expected to develop products and services that enrich people’s lives and to do so in a way that is sustainable and takes into account the impact that they have on the societies in which they operate. Indeed, almost a quarter of CEOs report that they have updated their organisation's purpose in the last three years to take account of the broader impact that they have on society.

For many businesses their tax payments are one of the most significant ways that they contribute to society. However, the full extent of that tax contribution is not well articulated and is consequently not well understood. If businesses explained the full extent of taxes that they pay, and how they approach tax issues, would this help them to demonstrate how they generate value for a broader range of stakeholders, not just their investors? Read the CEO insight from Rick Stamm, PwC Vice Chairman.

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How concerned are CEOs about the following potential economic, policy, social and environmental threats to their organisation’s growth prospects?






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Colm Kelly
Leader, Global Tax and Legal Services
Tel: +353 1 792 8943
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Christ Economos
Deputy Global Tax Leader
Tel: +1 (646) 471 0612
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Mary Monfries
Global Tax Reputation Leader
Tel: +44 207 212 7927
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Neville Howlett
Director external relations, Tax
Tel: +44 (0)207 212 7964
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