Welcome to our first newsletter of 2019. Since piloting the Responsible Tax project in the UK in the summer of 2014, we have grown into a community of 1100+ - an important mix of politicians & policy-makers; business leaders; campaigners & NGOs; tax experts and academics; media and commentators. We have hosted and participated in conversations around the world – most recently, this year, in Washington, Nairobi, Cape Town and Copenhagen, with forthcoming events planned in Dublin, London, Geneva and Brussels. We are proud of our diversity of thought and opinion and our determination to welcome all views into the conversation. Unfortunately, there are still no easy answers – although we remain committed to the belief that tax is the entry fee we all pay for a civilized society.

As I commented in this short film made with KPMG colleagues in Denmark last month, what started as something of a niche, but important, discussion point has blossomed into something altogether more mainstream. The world has changed significantly since the project began. The Copenhagen roundtable, for example, included Asset Managers and the wider investment community in order to properly understand their insights, impact and influence on the worlds of corporate behavior and tax.

Fellow thinkers

A number of global organizations have also embraced Responsible Tax thinking – as evidenced in recent and new publications from, among others, the IMF; The B-Team; the World Economic Forum and European Think Tank Counterpoint. On many issues – most recently on the subject of Globalization, Digitization and Corporate Taxation and on Tax Morale also, the OECD continues to produce important thoughts and policy documents, helping shape the global discourse, having led the way with BEPS. In the UK, theAll Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Responsible Tax – which itself grew out of our initial Responsible Tax for the Common Good project – continues to explore and publish on topical issues.

Recent and forthcoming publications form the Responsible Tax initiative

We now have two publications under our belt – Responsible Tax and the Developing World (2017) and What To Tax? (2018). Later this year, with the input of the community, we will publish a further two Think Pieces – on Globalization, Digitization and the future of Corporate Taxation and on Tax & Trust. You can read the initial provocations on each works-stream – the Corporate Taxation piece is led by KPMG’s Global Head of Tax Policy, Chris Morgan; I am spearheading the discussion on Tax & Trust, in which I argue that tax is trust, writ large.

Feedback from you, the community, is hugely important in helping shape and drive the debate. We will be publishing input from a wide range of individuals and institutions over the coming months – Think Tanks, global policy forums, academics and corporate practitioners. Please get in touch if you would like to participate. We are taking contributions in a variety of formats – comments, articles, audio/podcasts and films.

2019 roundtables and events

The future of Corporate Taxation will be discussed at a specially-convened roundtable in Brussels in late June/ early July. We are currently confirming the date. If you are interested in taking part, please get in touch. Prior to that, the issue of Tax and Trust will be covered at a lunchtime roundtable in Dublin in May/ June – again, please get in touch if you would like to join in.

Specifically for KPMG clients, a Responsible Tax roundtable will be held during the EMA Tax Summit in London in June. More details will be shared on this, under separate cover.

And, finally…

The Responsible Tax web platform continues to be a rich source of ideas, challenges and inspirations from across the community. Please take a closer look when you can. Recent subjects covered include: should we tax wealth – a question posed by former UK Government Minister, David Willets; issues surrounding land and property taxes; plus ideas on the impact and implications of blockchain.

There are also some good films to watch – include a highlights video from last autumn’s Responsible Tax Re-Imagined: Ideas Exchange in London.

We continue to welcome and invite contributions to the platform, and we encourage you to share The Responsible Tax project content on your social media platforms. Here are some of latest articles, which you can share on LinkedIn.

Thank you for taking the time to read this – and for your continued support on what is an important journey for us all. As we like to say, Responsible Tax is everyone’s business.

Jane McCormick
Global Head of Tax & Legal,
KPMG International