What is Responsible Tax?

Tax is often seen as the cornerstone of the social contract and the current environment has focused the world’s attention on the environmental consequences of what businesses do, pushing environmental, social and governance (ESG) to the forefront of leadership agendas globally. The responsibility of companies to demonstrate the positive impact they are making for their people, their customers and society is creating a complex stakeholder environment that tax leaders must learn to navigate in the future.

KPMG tax professionals are united by our values, governed by our Global Tax Principles and Global Quality Framework, and driven by our purpose to inspire confidence and empower change. In addition to delivering a range of tax compliance and consulting services that align to our own responsible tax principles every day, KPMG professionals deliver targeted approaches to help tax leaders embrace their role in the broader ESG agenda through KPMG Tax Impact Reporting, while also engaging in sustained, inclusive and cohesive discussions through the KPMG Global Responsible Tax Project.


KPMG’s Global Responsible Tax Project


Latest Responsible Tax content

What is the aim of the KPMG Global Responsible Tax Project?

The goal of this global initiative is to reveal a shared understanding of how responsible tax at an international level works across corporations and tax jurisdictions – for both advanced and emerging economies – through roundtable discussions, online conversations, articles and our Global Tax Policy Leadership Team.

The KPMG Global Responsible Tax Project is built on three core pillars:

Engaging in productive debate: We believe there is a need for the world to have a sustained, inclusive and coherent discussion about the key issues that are affecting and shaping taxation in the modern world. We recognize this is not easy terrain, and believe diverse voices are needed.

Convening diverse voices: Through the project, we bring together a truly diverse community of stakeholders – from academics to activists to businesses to non-governmental organizations – to have the open discussions necessary to help inform the tax debate.

Sharing insights and ideas: The project consists of both an online community and discussion forum, where anyone with a view is welcome to have their say, and a series of in-person and virtual roundtable discussions held all around the world.


Principles for a Responsible Tax Practice

Bringing to life KPMG's values and Global Code of Conduct in a way that is meaningful for the every-day situations we face as tax professionals.

  • We act lawfully and with integrity and expect the same from our people, our firms' clients, tax authorities and other parties with whom we interact. Above all else, in every respect our work shall be fully compliant with relevant legal, regulatory and professional requirements.

  • We are committed to providing clients with high quality tax advice tailored to their particular circumstances.

  • We shall explain clearly and objectively to our clients the technical merits and the sustainability of any tax advice we give.

  • Whenever relevant and practical to assess, we may discuss with clients any likely impact of any tax advice we give on relevant communities and stakeholders and any potential reputational risk.

  • We shall make recommendations to clients only where:
    • we consider, at least on the balance of probabilities, that the relevant interpretation of law is correct; or
    • it otherwise clearly meets the applicable local professional standards.
  • We shall only advise clients to enter into, or assist them to implement, transactions or arrangements on the basis that they have any substance required by law, as well as any business, commercial or other non-tax purpose required by law.

  • We shall not advise clients to enter into transactions with the purpose of securing a tax advantage clearly and unambiguously contrary to the relevant legislation and shall not assist them to implement such transactions. If, in our view, the language of the legislation is uncertain, we shall consider the intention of the relevant legislators when advising clients.

  • We support a relationship with tax authorities aimed at building mutual trust and respect which will enable constructive dialogue and responsiveness by all parties, facilitate compliance and reduce or assist in early resolution of disputes.

  • We shall comply with all our disclosure requirements and advise our clients to do the same.

  • When advising clients on entering into transactions we shall do so on the understanding that all material facts will be known to the tax authorities.

Throughout this page, “we”, “KPMG”, “us” and “our” refers to the global organization or to one or more of the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”), each of which is a separate legal entity.