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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

Image of Business consequences of tax driving net zero ambitions

Business consequences of tax driving net zero ambitions

Tackling climate change is a key issue. This has become more pressing than ever with the fuel price increases and growing uncertainty caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Image of Tax and ESG – The view of investors

Tax and ESG – The view of investors

The ESG agenda is top of mind for many companies and investors and tax reporting is one area that can serve to bring ESG practice to life. However, there is a feeling that existing standards might either be too simplistic or overly challenging for some companies or not appropriate at their stage in a transparency journey. Therefore, the B Team, KMPG International and Jericho have started to focus on how to arrive at tax metrics to support ESG goals that could gain wider buy-in.

16 Jun 2022
6 min
Image of KPMG responds to European Commission public consultation on “Unshell” Directive proposal

KPMG responds to European Commission public consultation on “Unshell” Directive proposal

Euro Tax Flash from KPMG's EU Tax Centre - 6 April 2022

27 Apr 2022
1 min


We are grateful to all of our contributors, including:

Becky Knight, Manager, Global Tax Policy, KPMG International

Becky Knight

Manager, Global Tax Policy at KPMG International

Hannah Hawkins, Principal, KPMG Washington National Tax, KPMG in the US

Hannah Hawkins

Principal, KPMG Washington National Tax at KPMG in the US

Tim Sarson, Partner, KPMG in the UK

Tim Sarson

Partner at KPMG in the UK

Loek Helderman, Partner, KPMG Meijburg and Co

Loek Helderman

Partner at KPMG Meijburg and Co

Raluca Enache, Director, KPMG's EU Tax Centre

Raluca Enache

Director at KPMG's EU Tax Centre

David Linke, Global Head of Tax and Legal Services, KPMG International

David Linke

Global Head of Tax and Legal Services at KPMG International

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