A Broad Coalition of Investors with over $2.9 Trillion in Assets Under Management Urge More Transparent Tax Disclosure from FASB
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, investors with over $2.9 trillion in assets under management called on the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to prioritize public country-by-country tax reporting as part of FASB’s future standard-setting agenda. Signatories represented a broad coalition of asset managers, public pension funds, labor funds, international investors, foundations and religious investors.
Public country-by-country tax information is “decision-critical for investors,” reads the letter, “as [they] gauge risks, assess value, and ultimately, allocate capital.” FASB is responsible for ensuring financial statements provide “decision-useful” information to investors and other users of financial reports. The investors called on FASB to require revenue, profit, tax, and other information on a country-by-country basis so that investors might better understand the financial, reputational, and economic risks of public companies.
“There is clear and growing global investor and public momentum to see public country-by-country income tax reporting information,” says Ian Gary, the Executive Director of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition. “This momentum reflects a need from investors and other stakeholders to better understand tax financial and economic risks, as well as to improve transparency and promote public trust.”
In 2021, the Global Reporting Initiative implemented the first globally applicable country-by-country reporting standards for participating public companies, the European Union finalized a political deal to require a degree of public country-by-country reporting, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Disclosure of Tax Havens and Offshoring Act (H.R. 3007), which would require public country-by-country tax disclosure. This information is particularly important in light of efforts by the U.S. government and other governments around the world to crack down on the global tax race to the bottom in a manner that could have real impacts on capital allocation (and strategic tax) decisions by public companies, including as a result of ongoing OECD negotiations.
Other prominent voices, including CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in the US; Principles for Responsible Investment; and the Council of Institutional Investors, submitted their own comments to FASB calling for increased tax transparency in line with public country-by-country tax reporting information.
The FACT Coalition is non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations working toward a fair tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.
Notes to the Editor:
- The Investor’s comments can be found here. Additional comments to the FASB invitation to comment can be found here.
- FACT Coalition comments to the FASB invitation to comment, detailing the need for public country-by-country tax reporting for investors and other policy-maker and public stakeholder users of financial statements can be found here.
- Information about passage of the Disclosure of Tax Havens and Offshoring Act in the House of Representatives in June of 2021, and its broad coalition of support, can be found here.
- The case for public country-by-country reporting can be found here.