Tax was a hot topic in 2014, with some important strides being made towards fair taxation, and some shocking revelations that show we still have a lot of work to do.
Here’s the Fair Tax Mark round up of the big tax stories from 2014.
Luxembourg revealed to be helping multinationals save millions in tax
Let’s get (some of) the bad news out the way first… Leaked documents revealed that Luxembourg has been helping multinational companies avoid millions in tax bills.
The Fair Tax Mark launches
In the UK the campaign for a more responsible approach to tax took a huge leap forward with the launch of the Fair Tax Mark (that’s us!), the world’s first independent accreditation scheme to address the issue of responsible tax.
UK MPs debate fair tax
A month after the launch of the Fair Tax Mark the issue became the subject of a debate in Westminster.
51 MPs call on the government to endorse the idea of a Fair Tax Mark
MPs in the UK then signed an early day motion put forward by Caroline Lucas MP, who said the Fair Tax Mark is “great news for consumers, for transparency and for the principle that everyone should contribute their fair share…”
Trade unions around the world push for fair tax
In 2014 trade unions got on board with fair tax, as they unveiled a new initiative to tackle global tax evasion by integrating tax risks into responsible investment policies in pension funds.
Companies like Facebook continue to avoid paying corporation tax
Sadly global companies continued to avoid paying tax. Despite making £371 million in revenues in the UK last year, for the second year in a row Facebook paid absolutely nothing in corporation tax.
UK government admits tax avoidance is a problem in Autumn Statement
George Osborne said targeting tax avoidance will bring the treasury at least another £5bn, but campaigners say his approach isn’t tough enough, and the government should adopt a general Anti-Avoidance Principle instead of only targeting ‘artificial and abusive’ tax avoidance through an ‘anti-abuse’ rule.
51 countries sign agreement to automatically swap tax information
Globally there was another positive step – finance ministers and tax chiefs from 51 OECD countries took a huge step towards ending tax evasion.
85% of British adults say tax avoidance by large companies is morally wrong
All the attention on tax dodging and the impact on services meant Britain decided that even if tax avoidance by large companies is legal, it is morally wrong.
Energy company SSE becomes the first FTSE 100 company to get the Fair Tax Mark
In October there was a huge win for campaigners as SSE was the first FTSE 100 company to sign up to the Fair Tax Mark: “As a responsible UK company SSE wants to be as transparent as possible about the contribution it is making to society, the environment and the economy.”
Denmark backs a fair tax mark
And finally, the year ended on a high as the Danish ruling parties agreed to encourage the development of a Fair Tax Mark, a huge win for transparency in Denmark.
Here’s to an even better 2015 in tax!