US require tax risk to be reported

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I wrote the main opinion article in Accountancy Age this week. The subject was simple - that the US now require companies reporting under US accounting principles to assess uncertainties that exist in the tax claims that they have made to tax authorities worldwide, and to disclose them in their accounts.

It's unsurprising I am in support of this proposal. When over 115 submission letters on this proposal had been received by the Federal Accounting Standards Board all but three opposed the requirement to disclose this risk - and all came from big business of big accountants and lawyers. I wrote the first draft of the resulting Tax Justice Network submission that was in favour of the standard.

Why do we want this? Because it's good for investors, it's good for tax authorities and so it's good for society as a whole. It's bad for reckless managements, which also means it's good for society of course. And it's bad for accountants and lawyers. Sorry, but we're not weeping about any constraint on them.