ACCA updates tax report amid company taxation debates

ACCA updated its tax report as debates about company taxation remain highly controversial in an increasingly digitalised economy.

Given the changes in the global economy in the last five years, the updated Global policy on taxation of companies: principles and practices reiterates that in a globalised business environment, it is undesirable and potentially counterproductive for any one country to go its own way, changing its tax laws unilaterally.

The report was originally published in 2014, to offer broad views about the issues being discussed around global taxation, with the aim of bringing structure and consistency to the debate.

Covering company taxation, rather than personal tax, this report also looks further ahead to how the tax landscape might unfold in the future. It also identifies features of a ‘good’ tax system and frames principles that ACCA aims to follow in its approach to policy on corporate tax matters.

Jason Piper, policy lead, tax and business law at ACCA, said: “Our updated paper revisits the context within which the policy sits, as the global economy has moved on, but reiterates our policy positions, which we believe have stood the test of time.

“As we approach 2020, we believe that coordinated efforts should be made internationally to ensure that tax systems keep pace with changes in the way that business is conducted, capturing the substance of economic activity in the calculation of liability to tax. ACCA supports and is directly involved in the efforts being made at G20 / OECD level to achieve this global reform.

“While debates will continue about taxation, the heart of the matter is whether tax laws, especially for corporates, reflect the new business models of the 21st century and consumers’ wider ethical expectations.”

He added: “The accountancy profession is and should be part of the solution. Professional accountants need to continue their work with policymakers to develop approaches that work for business and allow companies to be competitive and profitable, while also meeting wider considerations of social responsibility.”

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