CAPE TOWN – PwC Tax Services is pleased to announce AngloGold Ashanti as the overall winner in the annual PwC Building Public Trust Awards, 2018 in the category for ‘tax reporting for multinational companies’ and MTN as the runner up. 

This is the second consecutive year that both AngloGold Ashanti and MTN were named the overall winner and runner-up, respectively.

Vodacom Group was announced the overall winner in the category for ‘tax reporting for domestic companies’, and Absa Group as the runner-up. The Building Public Trust Awards commend companies for excellence in the field of corporate tax reporting.

Gert Meiring, Lead Tax Reporting & Strategy PwC Southern Africa, says: “Now in their fifth year, the PwC Building Public Trust Awards celebrate companies who are leading the way in open, authentic and accessible reporting and communications. The Building Public Trust Awards were introduced in South Africa in 2014 to encourage and promote greater voluntary transparency in tax reporting.”

In the current climate of economic and socio-political uncertainty, public interest in tax has never been greater. Companies remain under increasing pressure to respond to a range of stakeholders who are interested in their tax affairs. These include tax authorities, regulators, investors, NGOs as well as internal stakeholders.

A key challenge for companies in the current environment is to consider how best to respond to the economic landscape which is continuously changing. Increased attention from stakeholders around tax is driven by a number of factors including media headlines, pressure from various campaign groups and the public.

Compliance burden on multinationals

Although South Africa is not a member of the OECD, it has adopted the OECD’s Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) country-by-country (CbC) reporting model, which places an additional compliance burden on multinationals regarding the information to be filed with the relevant tax authority.

Some companies are adopting a proactive and public approach and are considering transparency in their respective business strategies.

Meiring comments: “PwC has long supported the disclosure of meaningful and relevant tax information through voluntary reporting initiatives. Additional voluntary tax reporting by corporates is one way of helping to improve the level of understanding. Tax transparency will continue to evolve as the mandatory reporting regimes develop and as companies respond to demands from a varied group of stakeholders.”

The companies assessed for the purposes of the awards were the top 100 JSE listed companies by market capitalisation as at 31 December 2017. The 2018 awards are the fifth consecutive year in South Africa that we have reviewed the tax reporting of SA’s largest companies using PwC’s tax transparency framework, drawing on the views of business, investors, government, and analysts. The awards are adjudicated by an independent panel of experts in corporate governance and financial reporting.

The data used to evaluate the extent of tax reporting against the framework was sourced from company annual reports, corporate social responsibility reports, annual financial statements and integrated reports for the top 100 JSE listed companies as well as other relevant reports from companies’ websites related to the company’s tax approach.

Awards were made in two categories, namely for multinational companies which derive more than half their revenues outside South Africa and for domestic companies which derive more than half their revenues in South Africa.

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