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G20 report highlights a high level of distrust in NGO tax systems

The G20 Public Trust in Tax Report shows there is a high level of distrust among the public in politicians and non-government organisations in regards to tax systems.

The report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) highlighted that 58% of respondents expressed distrust or strong distrust in politicians.

When evaluating tax systems, respondents across the G20 nations expressed concerns about transparency, complexity, inequality, and corruption in tax systems.

Perceptions around inequality centre on countries that have high income earners and multinationals who are treated better by tax systems than average or low-income earners.

Respondents in China, Indonesia and India had high levels of trust in tax authorities, politicians and accountants, reported efficient tax filing, and supported tax competition to attract multinational business.

There has also been consistent levels of mistrust year-on-year in NGOs at 37% which is an increase compared to 2017.

Divided views regarding trust in government tax authorities was also highlighted with 37% saying that they trust or highly trust tax authorities and 34% distrusting or highly distrusting them.

ACCA’s global head of tax Chas Row-Chowdhury said: “Once trust is lost, it’s hard to regain. Tax is a complex issue and one that touches all our lives – so that trust is important. What’s clear from this research is the need for significant players – from politicians to tax experts – to work together to build and sustain the public’s trust in tax.”

IFAC’s CEO Kevin Dancey commented: “Given that accountants adhere to a strong ethical code that supports their public interest obligations, it’s vital that we actually understand what the public thinks of tax systems and who they go to for trusted advice.

“This research gives everyone working in tax, including policymakers, politicians, media and accountants, a powerful insight what the public really think. By understanding their views, professionals can better work to inspire confidence in the system as a whole.”

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