The methodology of this year’s benchmark has changed in order to develop the benchmark along the lines of societal expectations and laws and regulations. Even though these changes have been made to the methodology of this year’s benchmark, the companies have demonstrated an overall progress. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement in this rapid changing tax transparency landscape. Based on - amongst others - the results of the Tax Transparency Benchmark 2018, we have recommendations for improvement outlined below.

To companies

  • Keep up with developments regarding transparent reporting on tax, including the updated methodology as described in section three of this benchmark, and continue to adapt your policy and practice to these new standards.
  • Stay in active dialogue with your stakeholders to further develop your tax transparency approach and rebuild trust in taxation.
  • Provide further narrative about tax processes to enhance the level of “show me what you are doing” instead of “tell me what you are doing”.
  • Start (or continue) with the design and implementation of internal and external tax assurance, as this remains an underdeveloped item in transparent tax reporting.
  • Monitor the implementation and execution of your tax strategy.
  • Do not use this Tax Transparency Benchmark purely as a tick-the-box exercise.


To legislators and tax authorities

  • While this benchmark helps to improve tax transparency, proper legislation can enforce it. Legislators and tax authorities should take note from the UK where tax transparency is further regulated by law.
  • Provide (regulated and) common good tax governance standards for companies. Work with international standards to provide multinational operating companies a common standard to work with across territories.
  • Increase the transparency of compliance management strategies and accountability on tax affairs with companies.
  • Be transparent about how rules are applied. 


  • Create an open and constructive dialogue with companies and focus on encouraging them to change. Differentiate in approach for leaders and laggards.
  • Provide companies with best practices regarding responsible and transparent tax behaviour.
  • Do not only focus on multinationals and tax advisers but also on tax administrations.
  • Enter into dialogue with governments to promote transparency.


To tax advisory firms

  • Integrate tax technical, tax governance and digital tax expertise in people and teams.
  • See tax in a broader context, not only from a legal perspective.
  • Promote responsible tax behaviour and support tax transparency initiatives of companies.
  • Dare to have a robust dialogue on this topic.
  • Apply the firm’s tax code of conduct
  • Ensure alignment of tax advice with the clients’ tax strategy

To investors

  • Design and implement a tax strategy (with criteria) that applies to a) your own organisation, b) how you structure your investments, c) your investments and d) the parties you collaborate with.
  • Integrate tax in the valuation of investee companies by including it in investment and ESG policies.
  • Be transparent on what you expect from your own organisation, investments and parties you collaborate with.
  • Integrate tax in the valuation of investee companies and enter into a dialogue with portfolio companies on responsible and transparent tax behaviour.
  • Not only test investments at the moment of investment, but also monitor adherence to your criteria or expectations during the lifecycle of the investment;
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to develop common standards.


To universities

  • Educate students more broadly. Provide not only tax technical knowledge, but also knowledge on tax governance and digital tax.


Contact us

Eelco van der Enden

Eelco van der Enden

Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)88 792 51 38

Dave Reubzaet

Dave Reubzaet

Director, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)88 792 14 60

Evita van der Aar-Melger

Evita van der Aar-Melger

Manager, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)88 792 70 59

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