The UK’s first Fair Tax Fortnight has been announced for 9-24 June 2018.
Organised by the Fair Tax Mark, with support from the Friends Provident Foundation and the Joffe Charitable Trust, the event will be a UK-wide “celebration of the companies and organisations that are proud to pay their fair share of corporation tax”.
The Fair Tax Mark was launched in 2014 to allow businesses that are paying tax in a responsible way to demonstrate this commitment to their customers, contractors and associates. Midcounties Co-operative, Unity Trust Bank and the Phone Co-op were the first businesses to be accredited by the new Mark, and since then the scheme has continued to be supported by co-operatives. Among the 1,500 shops and offices accredited are the Co-op Group and Revolver Coffee Co-operative, as well as AMT Coffee Bars and Richer Sounds.
“Corporation tax is often presented as a burden, but it shouldn’t be,” said Paul Monaghan, chief executive of the Fair Tax Mark. “Not when considered against the huge array of public services it helps fund – from education, health and social care, to flood defence, roads, policing and defence.
“It also plays a crucial role in holding the whole tax system together – helping to counter financial inequalities and rebalance distorted economies.”
To mark the start of the fortnight, a Fair Tax Conference will be held to explore key topics such as responsible tax planning; how to tackle tax avoidance; and the case for Corporation Tax. The event will be sponsored by SSE, the first FTSE 100 business to become a Fair Tax Mark organisation.
The Fortnight will be also be supported by a dedicated online portal that will detail Fair Tax developments and events across the UK.
“Too often, tax makes the headlines for all the wrong reasons,” added Mr Monaghan. “There is an almost daily stream of stories of evasion and aggressive avoidance – which not only distort our economy but also undermine the opportunity for business to compete fairly.”
It is estimated that €600bn of corporate profits shifted to tax havens each year, with annual corporate tax revenue losses of €200bn globally.
“Polls of consumers consistently reveal that one of their biggest concerns about business is the fair payment of tax,” said Mr Monaghan. “That’s why we’re committed to championing those organisations that recognise the need for business to play its part in contributing to these vital public services, operating on a level playing field and making a positive contribution to the economy and the communities they operate in.”