Today marks a huge breakthrough for tax campaigners as SSE plc becomes the first FTSE100 company to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark.
With the UK still losing billions each year to corporate tax avoidance, SSE have joined the growing number of Fair Tax companies proving that not all businesses decide to dodge tax, but can instead take a positive attitude to sharing their profits with the wider community.
As one of the UK’s largest companies with a turnover of more than £30 billion, SSE’s accreditation has set several precedents.
The first is to bust the myth that big listed companies of this size have to minimise tax in order to keep their shareholders happy. SSE have shown not only that they play fair but also that they are aware that their decisions on tax affect a much wider group of people. They have bravely decided to listen and respond to the public’s concerns.
Gregor Alexander, SSE’s Finance Director said “I recognise that there has been an erosion of trust between big businesses and the customers they serve. That’s why it’s so important to have a third party accredit us for tax disclosure.”
SSE has also set a new benchmark in the reporting of the tax affairs of a large UK company with international operations. As the first company to be awarded the multinational version of the Fair Tax Mark, SSE have reported the profits they make and taxes they pay separately for each country where they operate.
Immediately this makes them the only ‘big six’ energy company to completely open their books and be upfront about what it makes in the UK. The additional information also means that people can understand what they’re up to better and hold them to account on tax.
‘SSE has always been open about its tax but we’ve taken our transparency to a new level following the advice received from the Fair Tax Mark” said Alexander.
With this news, SSE’s nine million consumers can be reassured that they support an organisation that pursues responsible tax practice.
We at the Fair Tax Mark truly celebrate SSE’s achievement as proof that it is possible for a large company to say they’re proud to pay their fair share and produce the evidence that shows they really mean it.
As Alexander added “SSE is proud to be recognised as the first FTSE 100 company to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark – but I hope we are not the last.”
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