Over 7,600 people across the G20 countries contributed to our joint research in public trust in tax.
The results show people want their governments to cooperate for a more coherent international tax system, they trust professionals, but have developed a deep distrust of politicians when it comes to tax.
A reset is needed: to win back the public’s trust, and create a more effective international tax system fit for the 21st century.
1. 57% of people in G20 countries trust or highly trust professional accountants when it comes to the tax system, compared to professional tax lawyers (49%), and non-government organisations (35%).
2. 58% of people in G20 countries believe the work of professional accountants is contributing to more efficient tax systems; 56% more effective tax systems; 49% more fair tax systems.
3. People in G20 countries have become deeply distrustful of politicians when it comes to the tax system, with 67% either distrusting or highly distrusting politicians.
4. The public trust deficit extends to media (41% distrust or highly distrust), and business leaders (38%).
5. People want governments to put tax cooperation ahead of tax competition – 73% of people in G20 countries think it is important or very important for governments to cooperate with each other on tax policy to create a more coherent international tax system; and people are over 3.5x more likely to favour cooperation over competition.
6. 73% of people in G20 countries see paying taxes as mainly a matter of laws and regulation, and people are more than twice as likely to see paying taxes as about laws and regulations, than morals and fairness.
7. While views diverge considerably across G20 countries, more people overall tend to believe high income earners, and local and multinational companies are paying a reasonable amount of tax in their country than think average or low income earners are paying enough.
8. There are also diverse views on tax minimization throughout G20 countries, although 15% more people overall appear to view tax minimization as appropriate or highly appropriate for high income earners, and local and multinational companies than for average or low income earners.