Transparency on tax avoidance by the (integrated) EU Corporate Sustainability and Country-by-Country-Report

Project: Dissertation project

Project participants


In recent years, a series of data leaks and media reports on low tax rates of internationally active companies have created the impression that aggressive tax avoidance is a widespread corporate practice and causes significant harm to the public. In this context, taxes are increasingly coming into focus, not only from a public perspective, but also from a research and regulatory perspective, as a tool to achieve various economic and corporate sustainability goals.

In response, OECD countries have launched the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative and have identified numerous tax avoidance practices to be eliminated in the future in order to achieve more sustainable economic activity. Furthermore, transparency with regard to the tax policy of companies is to be increased and thus the social pressure for sustainable tax policy is to be raised.

In the context of public reporting, in addition to the obligatory sustainability report of companies, there is also reporting within the framework of voluntary sustainability reporting, for example according to GRI 207 Tax, and within the framework of country-by-country reporting, which has so far only been available to the tax authorities, but which the EU Commission has proposed should also be publicly accessible from the year 2025.

The research project examines this triad of reporting in the context of tax avoidance or tax policy of companies and aims to elaborate concrete recommendations for action for research, practice, legislators and standard setters by examining in particular the quality of reporting and the qualitative differences between the various forms of reporting.