As this FT article reports, perceptions of tax avoidance are a growing issue for companies. Exactly what tax avoidance is depends on your standpoint. Christian Aid thinks it means not paying enough tax in poor countries; UK Uncut thinks it means not paying enough tax in the rich UK. And there are plenty more perspectives. The only certainty for companies with an international aspect is that there is no universal or clear answer.
That doesn't mean it isn't an issue, particularly for consumer-facing companies. A company's reputation depends on what its stakeholders perceive - which is their reality. And each group of stakeholders may have different perceptions.
If a company doesn't like its stakeholders' reality, that is the company's problem. The issue needs to be fixed before it becomes toxic. The biggest mistake is to think it is a PR problem. It isn't. As a sage said many years ago, spin won't fix it. You have to fix the fundamentals.
- Reputability are thought leaders in the field of reputational risk and its root causes, behavioural risk and organisational risk. Our book 'Rethinking Reputational Risk' received excellent reviews: see www.rethinkingreputationalrisk.com. Anthony Fitzsimmons, one of its authors, is an authority and accomplished speaker on reputational risks and their drivers. Reputability helps business leaders to find these widespread but hidden risks that regularly cause reputational disasters. We also teach leaders and risk teams about these risks. Here are our thoughts, and the thoughts of our guest bloggers, on some recent stories which have captured our attention. We are always interested to know what you think too.