Transparency in reporting financial data by multinational corporations

This research was commissioned by the OECD’s Informal Task Force on Tax and Development Task Force. It is the report of a group, chaired by Michael Devereux, that included representatives of the OECD, business, NGOs and academia. The OECD identified the issue of transparency in financial reporting as being potentially important in helping development efforts in lower income economies, on the grounds that greater transparency could provide necessary information for holding both governments and multinational enterprises more accountable regarding tax revenues and payments.

The report critically examines the case for greater transparency. It addresses the fundamental questions about the objectives of greater transparency, how it can be better achieved at least cost, and to what extent it could achieve its objectives. This report reflects a broad consensus amongst the group regarding the issues involving transparency of reporting by multinational companies. It identifies and clarifies the issues, without making recommendations.

Michael Devereux and Judith Freedman