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Why Responsible Tax?

“No man is an island.” – John Donne

In today’s rapidly changing world, and as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, collective responses and government revenues are increasingly required for a global recovery and a sustainable investment in the future. At the same time environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, including tax transparency, are rising higher both on leadership and citizens’ agendas globally.

Who pays what amount of tax, where and when are complex issues that require sustained and inclusive discussion.

Responsible Tax involves engaging in the debate on tax, looking to build consensus and understanding between business, decision-makers and civil society in a constructive and transparent way to help ensure outcomes are seen to be fair and effective.

Global Tax Principles

Principles for a Responsible Tax Practice bring to life KPMG's values and Global Code of Conduct in a way that is meaningful for the every-day situations we face as tax professionals.

  • We act lawfully and with integrity and expect the same from our people, our firms' clients, tax authorities and other parties with whom we interact. Above all else, in every respect our work shall be fully compliant with relevant legal, regulatory and professional requirements.
  • We are committed to providing clients with high quality tax advice tailored to their particular circumstances.
  • We shall explain clearly and objectively to our clients the technical merits and the sustainability of any tax advice we give.
  • Whenever relevant and practical to assess, we may discuss with clients any likely impact of any tax advice we give on relevant communities and stakeholders and any potential reputational risk.
  • We shall make recommendations to clients only where:
    • we consider, at least on the balance of probabilities, that the relevant interpretation of law is correct; or
    • it otherwise clearly meets the applicable local professional standards.
  • We shall only advise clients to enter into, or assist them to implement, transactions or arrangements on the basis that they have any substance required by law, as well as any business, commercial or other non-tax purpose required by law.
  • We shall not advise clients to enter into transactions with the purpose of securing a tax advantage clearly and unambiguously contrary to the relevant legislation and shall not assist them to implement such transactions. If, in our view, the language of the legislation is uncertain, we shall consider the intention of the relevant legislators when advising clients.
  • We support a relationship with tax authorities aimed at building mutual trust and respect which will enable constructive dialogue and responsiveness by all parties, facilitate compliance and reduce or assist in early resolution of disputes.
  • We shall comply with all our disclosure requirements and advise our clients to do the same.
  • When advising clients on entering into transactions we shall do so on the understanding that all material facts will be known to the tax authorities.

Latest Content

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Understanding tax transparency

To help organizations and other key stakeholders explore and understand the tax transparency landscape, KPMG’s Responsible Tax Project hosted a webinar on the 24 June 2021 titled, 'Understanding tax transparency'.

26 Nov 2021
12 min
Image of Tax and facilitating investment into carbon abatement projects: Discussion paper in the light of COP26

Tax and facilitating investment into carbon abatement projects: Discussion paper in the light of COP26

We are pleased to release a new discussion paper as a part of our lead-up to the global conversation around carbon reduction in the lead-up to COP26, which explores the role of tax in facilitating investment into carbon abatement projects around the world.

26 Oct 2021
1 min
Image of Tax can save the world

Tax can save the world

Co-written by Chris Morgan & Matthew Gwyther

18 Oct 2021
8 min


We are grateful to all of our contributors, including:

Ruud de Mooij, Division Chief of the Tax Policy, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund

Ruud de Mooij

Division Chief of the Tax Policy, Fiscal Affairs Department at International Monetary Fund

Sharon Baynham, Director, Tax Policy, KPMG in the UK

Sharon Baynham

Director, Tax Policy at KPMG in the UK

Melissa Geiger, Global Leader, Strategic Corporates, Tax & Legal, KPMG International, and Partner and UK Board Member, KPMG in the UK, KPMG International

Melissa Geiger

Global Leader, Strategic Corporates, Tax & Legal, KPMG International, and Partner and UK Board Member, KPMG in the UK at KPMG International

John Thornhill, Innovation Editor, Financial Times

John Thornhill

Innovation Editor at Financial Times

Edward J. Dodson, Faculty Member, Temple University, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Edward J. Dodson

Faculty Member at Temple University, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Elise Donovan, CEO, BVI Finance

Elise Donovan

CEO at BVI Finance

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