Repsol wins Tax Transparency Benchmark 2022

An upward trend in the transparency of companies

Repsol, the Spanish multinational energy and petrochemical company, has won the Tax Transparency Benchmark 2022. The benchmark is an initiative of the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO), which is conducted in cooperation with PwC. The second-top scoring company is NN Group, making it the winner of the NL Tax Transparency Award for the fourth consecutive year.

Tax Transparency Benchmark 2022

For the first time: European benchmark

This year, for the first time, European companies were included in the benchmark. Repsol, the first winner of the EU Tax Transparency Award, scored close to the maximum number of points with 38 out of 40. The company was able to demonstrate that it proactively seeks to act in a responsible and transparent way regarding its taxation. In particular, the jury praised Repsol for clearly showing how its business model is taxed throughout the value chain and for extensively reporting on the relationship between ESG and tax.

NN Group: clear and very extensive tax strategy

The second-top scoring company in the 2022 Tax Transparency Benchmark and for the fourth consecutive year winner of the NL Tax Transparency Award is NN Group. The Dutch financial services provider continued its clear and very extensive tax strategy, which resulted in a high score of 36 points. Aegon, ING Group and Philips share the third place, all with a score of 32 points.

Tax policies and tax governance

The 2022 edition of the Tax Transparency Benchmark includes 78 Dutch listed companies and 25 European listed companies from Belgium, Danmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Across five sectors: pharmaceutical, technology, financial, fast moving consumer goods and oil & gas.

The benchmark examines and scores the companies on the transparency with regard to their tax policies and the quality of their tax governance. This year, the benchmark’s methodology was reviewed and thoroughly overhauled to better reflect the latest status, trends and developments on tax transparency, including new tax laws, regulations and ESG expectations. This update resulted in stricter assessment (from ‘tell me’ to ‘show me’) and the addition of new criteria and questions.

An upward trend in the transparency

Despite the changes in methodology and the stricter assessment, the results of the benchmark again show an upward trend in the transparency of companies. For instance, 86 per cent of all the companies that were examined published a tax strategy or similar report, compared to 84 per cent in last year’s benchmark.

Furthermore, the results show the voluntary adoption of the GRI 207 standards and the EU Directive on Public Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR). About 29 per cent of the companies fully discloses tax information on a country-by-country basis and seventeen per cent completely adheres to the GRI 207 Framework. The overall outcome of the Tax Transparency Benchmark shows companies’ commitment to provide more insight into their tax policy and tax contribution, which fits with the broader ESG conversation.

Intent tax reporting to be more emphasised

Although the jury compliments companies for the progress they have made on transparency regarding taxes, the results of the benchmark also show there is room for improvement.

There still remains a difference between the companies that report on tax as a matter of compliance (i.e., tick-the-box) and companies that provide a detailed insight in their tax governance by using concrete and relevant examples. According to the jury, companies should put more emphasis on their intention and persuasiveness with regard to tax reporting.

In addition, the jury encourages companies to give more insight in the alignment of tax with the business by also reporting on taxes throughout the value chain. For instance, a company could give a description of where in the world it adds value in the business cycle, where it is taxed and how it is prioritized to the tax authorities.

Finally, although some companies already report on tax as part of their broader ESG strategy, the jury expects companies to specifically include a description on how tax is taken into account to address certain ESG issues in their reporting, e.g. by reporting on carbon taxes, green subsidies and incentives or working remuneration in relation to their tax strategy.


Edwin Visser

Edwin Visser

Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 294 38 76

Keetie van der Torren-Jakma

Keetie van der Torren-Jakma

Director, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)61 856 59 73

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