13:55 minutes listen

With an increasing number of alarming headlines showing major global environmental disasters and a growing sense of urgency to act before it is too late, green taxes are heralded as a way to both boost tax revenue and drive the 'polluter pays' principle.

Taxation associated with environmental goals are not new, but they have taken on a new dimension in the fight to create sustainable economies. Alongside the existing environmental taxes like carbon and plastic taxes, new schemes are coming in that bring new momentum to the table. But how are businesses handling the administrative and operational challenges? In this edition of KPMG Expert Talk, tax experts Elizabeth Barendregt and Konstantina Tsiosta talk about how firms should approach and navigate one of today's most critical elements in the tax and societal landscape.

“The most successful firms will take a holistic, multidisciplinary view in aligning their tax strategy across different inhouse functions.”

– Elizabeth Barendregt, Partner, Head of Indirect Tax Western Switzerland

Insights and recommendations

  • Governments are increasingly taking measures and implementing processes to encourage a shift to more sustainable forms of energy, and businesses have little time to act if they wish to remain compliant, meet stakeholder expectations and avoid financial penalties. 
  • Taxes on specific, notoriously damaging materials like plastics are on the up, with many countries taking action in the form of compliance obligations or fees in waste management and recycling, with higher tax consequences on those who don't comply.
  • The real challenge is to comply with all the different rules without facing skyrocketing compliance and management costs.
  • ESG taxes hit business across the board, from production to distribution, to consumption, so are an intrinsic element of supply chain management.
  • Tax incentives related to sustainable practices are becoming an important component of ESG policies, and businesses would be wise to integrate that into their tax strategy.

Experts

Elizabeth Barendregt, Partner Tax KPMG

Konstantina Tsiosta, Senior Manager Tax KPMG