PwC recognizes MTN for tax transparency

PwC has released its findings from a review of the voluntary tax reporting for the financial year ending 31 December 2018, of the top 100 companies listed on the JSE.

The review summarises trends that are shaping the tax transparency landscape and provides examples of how companies are responding by using voluntary tax disclosures, thereby demonstrating good corporate citizenship as responsible taxpayers.

The companies that were reviewed are the top 100 JSE listed companies by market capitalisation as at 31 December 2018.

PwC has developed a tax transparency framework and the performance of each company was quantitatively assessed against the framework.  The framework is intended to guide companies in developing a transparency strategy that is fit for purpose.

MTN was identified by an independent judging panel as the best performing company with a primary listing in South Africa and a multinational presence.

The judges commented that similar to previous disclosures, MTN produced a comprehensive set of tax disclosures in 2018. The judges indicated that the disclosures highlight the company’s commitment towards tax transparency.

MTN addressed the majority of the disclosure criteria related to ‘Tax Strategy and Risk Management’ providing a comprehensive overview of principles governing approaches to tax and the link to companywide risk management. The company provides a good breakdown of its ‘Total Tax Contribution and Wider Impact’ per jurisdiction.

The judges felt that the effectiveness of MTN’s tax transparency reporting stems from the integration of its tax disclosures with other company-related disclosures. The information is also presented in an easy to understand manner.

MTN communicates its purpose, wider societal impact and licence to operate by measuring its value distribution to stakeholders, its impact on the economies in which it operates and linking it to its total tax contribution.

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The company provides a description of the assurance process for disclosures relating to tax payments to governments. It also provides a detailed discussion on its lobbying efforts and manages to explain its stakeholder relationship with tax authorities in good context.

MTN also provides additional overview of its tax technology transformation. The judges praised the company’s comprehensive overview of its adherence to King IV principles as they relate to tax governance.

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