Sorting the payers from the players
Fair Tax Mark launches today.
Today sees the launch of the Fair Tax Mark, the world's first independent tax accreditation scheme.
With 1 in 4 consumers wanting to boycott tax dodgers, the Fair Tax Mark offers businesses the opportunity to proudly display to their customers that they are responsible tax payers.
Brought to you by Ethical Consumer, in partnership with Tax Research UK, it already has the support of three pioneering businesses: Midcounties Co-operative, Unity Trust Bank, and The Co-operative Phone and Broadband.
The Mark, which has been developed by a team of tax justice campaigners and tax experts, shows that a company is making a genuine effort to be open and transparent about its tax affairs and pays the right amount of corporation tax at the right time and in the right place.
Support from across the board
Margaret Hodge MP, and Chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, said of the Mark:
“I think this is a fantastic idea. The reaction to the revelations about the tax practices of big names like Starbucks, Amazon and Google shows that this is an issue the public really cares about. Given the choice, many people would prefer to give their custom to a responsible business that does the right thing and pays its fair share of tax.”
“The Fair Tax Mark helps give them the power to make that choice, and seeing customers vote with their feet is perhaps the most effective deterrent there is to companies engaging in tax avoidance or other irresponsible practices."
Richard Murphy, a tax justice campaigner and one of the founders of the Fair Tax Mark said:
"Around the world, and here in the UK, people are now aware that many big businesses routinely fail to pay the taxes they really owe. What they now want to do is spend their money with those companies who are doing the right thing by seeking to pay the fair tax that they owe in the right place at the right time.”
“The Fair Tax Mark is designed to allow consumers to identify those businesses who are paying their fair share of tax. This makes the Mark the next step in the campaign for tax justice."
Current estimates suggest that whilst the public sector budget is being slashed, corporate tax avoidance in the UK is currently running at £12 billion every year, a sum which would fund the training of almost half a million midwives and pay the salaries of half a million teachers for a year.
Ben Reid, Chief Executive of Midcounties Co-operative said:
"Midcounties Co-operative is proud to be a pioneer of the Fair Tax Mark. Last year we contributed the equivalent of 15% of our profits to charitable causes and it makes no sense for us to undermine this by engaging in aggressive tax avoidance schemes even when to do so would be legal.”
“Twenty years ago co-operative enterprises were front and centre to the launch and roll-out of the Fairtrade Mark which is now the best recognised ethical certification scheme in the UK. I look forward to the Fair Tax Mark enjoying equal success in the years to come."
Richard Wilcox, Managing Director of Unity Trust Bank said:
"We are delighted to be the first bank in the UK to receive the Fair Tax Mark accreditation. As a socially responsible bank Unity seeks to be transparent in all that we do and matters of taxation are no different."
“Established as a bank to promote the common good, we believe a fair tax system is vital for society to thrive. Businesses have a duty to pay a fair share and to invest in the UK economy and society as a whole."
Discover more about the Fair Tax Mark at the Fair Tax Mark website >
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