Business World

Saturday 23 September 2017

World's business chiefs in a sweat on taxes

Uncertain economic growth is seen as the biggest threat to companies. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Uncertain economic growth is seen as the biggest threat to companies. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Sean Duffy

More than two-thirds of chief executive officers (ceos) around the globe are concerned about the implications for their businesses from changes to international tax law.

Ireland has been at the centre of the developing row over how much tax big companies should pay, and where.

The last 12 months saw the European Commission dramatically order Ireland to collect €13bn plus interest from Apple that Brussels says is owed to the Government here in back taxes, while Donald Trump says he will slash tax to get US firms to relocate jobs back to America.

Almost seven out of 10 ceos (68pc) surveyed by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) expressed concern that the global crackdown on tax avoidance will force multinationals to pay more.

PWC asked 1,379 ceos in 79 countries their views on a range of topics.

Uncertain economic growth is seen as the biggest threat to companies, with 82pc of ceos revealing they were concerned by the issue.

That was followed by over-regulation (80pc) and the availability of key skills (77pc), while 62pc said that reducing costs would be a priority this year in order to boost balance sheets.

More than half of ceos (53pc) said the world was moving into a more nationalistic phase.

Just under two-thirds (64pc) of those questioned in the survey said they believed that globalisation had helped to provide full and meaningful employment around the world.

More than half (52pc) said they were intent on hiring new employees in the year ahead, while only 16pc said they would be cutting head counts.

"It is time to raise the role of business in society, to step forward with their own solutions and collaborate with multiple players in society to boost trust and build the world we need for the future - because if executed properly, business is a force for good," said PWC global chairman Bob Moritz.

Irish Independent

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