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Reputation top concern for business tax

New research has identified the areas in which businesses are most concerned when it comes to doing their accounts.

The Global Survey, published by consultancy company Taxand, found that many companies are concerned about how financial issues affect public opinion of their firm.

Questions in the report focus on key areas affecting the global business community, including greater transparency, the impact on tax issues on companies, the effect of greater scrutiny on financials, and how these affect competitiveness.

According to the research, the majority of respondents (91 per cent) said exposure to the public of tax planning activities had caused a detrimental impact on a company's reputation, while three-quarters said they themselves were concerned about the potential exposure of information. Both of these statistics are significantly higher than when the survey was issued 12 months previously.

This increased worry, the report suggests, is likely to be the result of proposals last year to introduce country-by-country reporting.

It states that there is a growing pressure on multinationals and, as such, these companies need to ensure they have watertight policies and audit trails in place to "quantify their actions".

This is being felt by the respondents of the Global Survey, with more than three-quarters (77 per cent) citing an increase in the number of audits undertaken by tax authorities in the past year.

"What would have previously been private collaboration with tax authorities is now being played out in a very public forum. Tax authorities are using the media to showcase their efforts to crackdown on multinationals, with dawn raids in France and public disclosure of tax audit details in Italy all being extensively covered in the media," the report reads.

The Global Survey, which is conducted among Taxand's multinational clients who work across a number of sectors, analyses the current global tax landscape, with responses coming from businesses in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Taxand is the largest independent tax organisation with more than 400 tax partners and 2,000 tax advisors.​