Tax Justice News

Tax justice news for December 2019/January 2020. Information about the release of the Manifesto for Tax Justice and Fair tax news.

Manifesto for Tax Justice

In November 2019, Tax Justice UK launched its Manifesto for Tax Justice, calling for politicians to deal with tax inequality, to curb tax avoidance and evasion, and to make the tax system and enforcement more accountable.

The manifesto was put together with TaxWatch UK and is endorsed by the Equality Trust, Tax Research UK, the Women’s Budget Group, Church Action on Tax Justice, and Jolyon Maugham QC. Input was also received from leading academics, researchers and campaigners to develop the set of costed policies that could raise at least £69 billion.

At the launch, George Turner of TaxWatch UK said:

“After ten years of cuts to public spending, there is now widespread consensus that more investment in public services is required. In this election, all of the main political parties are committing to major increases in public spending.”

Robert Palmer of Tax Justice UK added “We're calling on politicians to address tax inequality, curb tax avoidance and improve the administration of the tax system. We want to restore people’s sense of having a stake in the system.”

Manifesto for Tax Justice Highlights

Deal with tax inequality

    • Raise the corporation tax rate to a minimum of 24%.
    • Tax different types of income in the same way.
    • Limit the amounts which can be held in an ISA.
    • Limit the tax-free pension lump sum amount.
    • Turn inheritance tax into a progressive tax on lifetime gifts and limit inheritance tax reliefs.
    • Expand the financial transaction tax to include financial derivatives.

Curb tax avoidance and evasion

    • Tax the offshore structures used by global tech giants.
    • End tax breaks for private equity firms that bury companies in debt.
    • Support proposals for a global minimum tax rate.
    • Move towards a unitary system of taxing multinational corporations.
    • Compel larger companies to publish reports on a country-by-country basis.
    • Ensure that the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies publish registers of beneficial ownership of companies and trusts.

​Make tax accountable

    • Properly resource HMRC and Companies House.
    • Greater transparency of HMRC tax avoidance settlements.
    • Carry out full equality impact assessments for all tax policy changes to ensure they are progressive and fair.
    • Regular publication of appropriate information about the tax system, including a better estimate of the tax gap.
    • Ensure that whistleblowers are properly rewarded and protected.
    • Ensure that tax advisors and accountants are regulated.

Download the full manifesto from the Tax Justice website.

Suma now Fair Tax accredited

In October, Suma Wholefoods became the latest company to become accredited by the Fair Tax Mark. Suma is the largest equal pay worker co-op in Europe and has been operating from its base in Elland, West Yorkshire, for over 40 years.

Suma joins a growing hub of Fair Tax Mark businesses that are headquartered in West Yorkshire, including FTSE-listed Marshalls Plc., Leeds Building Society, Winder Power and the Ecology Building Society.

image: fair tax mark councillors i love fair tax sign

Greenwich Council approves Fair Tax Declaration

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is the first in London to commit to the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration, joining Oxford, Oldham, Peterborough, Cannock Chase and Bingley.

By approving the Declaration, councils demand greater transparency from suppliers, call for more meaningful powers to tackle suppliers’ tax avoidance, and demonstrate that they are leading by example on their own tax conduct.

The Declaration was launched by the Fair Tax Mark in July 2019 at the request of councillors wanting to do more to address tax avoidance. More information including a copy of the Declaration and a Sample Motion is available online.

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