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Tax disclosures: Is sunlight the best disinfectant?


It has been said that: “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” The belief that greater transparency and public scrutiny will result in large corporate taxpayers paying their “fair share of tax” has been a key driver of increased tax disclosures in recent years. This article considers the range of additional disclosures that have been introduced either on a voluntary or compulsory basis in recent years. The article also analyses when disclosures should be made, to whom they should be made, and the impact of not disclosing information. In addition, the article considers how fairness should be measured and refers to published information concerning tax gaps and taxes paid. In light of these additional disclosures and using international data about tax, the article asks whether the increased disclosures have resulted in greater “fairness”.

Author profiles

Enzo Coia CTA
Enzo Coia is a Tax Partner at Deloitte with over 20 years’ experience providing advice on Australian and international taxation matters. Enzo specialises in M&A, financing, capital management and dealing with revenue authorities. He is expertly placed to understand clients’ needs, having spent several years in a senior tax leadership position at a multinational oil and gas company. - Current at 15 June 2022
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Lauren Jones CTA
Lauren is a Partner in the Deloitte Perth Business Tax team. Lauren specialises in providing Australian taxation advice on merger and acquisition transactions, particularly in the energy and resources, utilities and infrastructure sectors. This includes managing large, complex tax due diligence projects, tax issues around financing structures, profit repatriation, permanent establishments, equipment leasing and global restructures, as well as managing post-transaction tax integration issues - Current at 26 June 2019
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Anna Williams
Anna is a Senior Analyst with Deloitte. - Current at 29 May 2019
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