Prior to the G7 talks last month, a treasury source said that any global deal on a minimum corporate tax rate must ensure that large tech companies pay their fair share of tax. "That is what our taxpayers would expect and is the right thing for our public services" they added.
Our recent data supports this as UK consumers are more ethically-conscious than ever. For the end of 2019, ethical consumer spending and finance in the UK reached record levels at some £98bn, with consumers indicating this is increasing as we progress through the pandemic.
Consumer will to spend ethically extends to supporting businesses with sound tax practices, too. New polling data commissioned by the Fair Tax Foundation earlier this month found that almost three quarters of the public (72 per cent) think it’s important to celebrate businesses who “can demonstrate that they pay the right amount of tax and who overtly shun the artificial use of tax havens and contrived tax avoidance practices.” Two thirds of the public would rather shop with (66 per cent) or work for (68 per cent) a business that can prove it is paying its fair share of tax.
Big Tech tax avoidance hasn’t gone unnoticed by business. Last month, more than 70 business leaders, the majority of which are UK entrepreneurs, called on the government to back the “once-in-a-generation” deal, writing “businesses should succeed not because they cut corners or avoid paying their fair share of tax, but because they build fantastic teams and products.”
Campaigners have also been keeping a close eye on things. The Fair Tax Foundation released data earlier this month that suggests there is a gap of $149.4bn between the expected headline rates of tax and the cash actually paid by the Silicon Six over the period 2011 to 2020.
The evidence points to a global appetite for accountability on tax practices. So, why is Big Tech choosing to buck this trend?