Cisco to Put Tax Transparency Proposal to Vote

Shareholders will be voting on a proposal calling for increased tax transparency at US tech company Cisco’s AGM later this year. The proposal was filed by the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Etica Funds, and the Missionary Oblates, calling for the company to publish a tax transparency report in line with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Tax Standard, which includes an outline of its tax strategy and a country-by-country tax breakdown. This is the first time a tax transparency proposal has not been challenged, according to the Pensions and Investments Research Consultants (PIRC), who coordinated the resolution. It also follows Amazon’s unsuccessful challenge of a similar tax transparency shareholder proposal ahead of its own AGM in the summer. Dr Katie Hepworth, PIRC’s Responsible Tax Lead, said: “In light of historic reforms to the global taxation system to ensure that companies fairly contribute to the revenue of the countries in which they operate and earn profit, companies must, at a minimum, provide investors with the tools to assess the risks of company tax strategies. Cisco only provides an aggregated worldwide figure of their taxes paid, leaving investors unable to properly analyse where the company is paying its taxes, and the risks associated with the company’s tax strategy and the governance frameworks that it has in place to monitor and mitigate these risks.” The exact date of Cisco’s 2022 AGM has yet to be announced. 

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