Affinity Water, the UK’s largest water-only supplier, has today secured Fair Tax Mark accreditation, following its successful assessment against the Fair Tax Mark criteria.
Affinity Water provides on average 900 million litres of water each day to a population of more than 3.6 million people in North West London and the Home Counties – serving Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing and Enfield. They also supply water to the Tendring peninsula in Essex and the Folkestone and Dover areas of Kent.
As part of the accreditation process Affinity Water has improved their tax reporting, bolstered their tax strategy and progressed closure of an offshore finance subsidiary in the Cayman Islands.
Paul Monaghan, Chief Executive, Fair Tax Mark said: “We are pleased to announce the Fair Tax Mark certification of Affinity Water and their parent Daiwater Investment Ltd – who have worked really hard over the past year to build and demonstrate their responsible tax conduct. At a time when the public is growing used to headlines about big corporates shifting profits to tax havens and minimising the contributions they make to the public purse, it’s refreshing to see a business that is proud to say what they pay.
“It’s particularly heartening to see that a small but increasing number of utilities companies are taking these issues more seriously and leading the way on tax. Many aspects of utilities provision are natural monopolies, with customers having little choice as to who supplies them. This brings with it significant profit opportunities for business, but also the responsibility to pay a fair share of tax on those profits.”
It is estimated that£400bn of global corporate profits are shifted annually to tax havens, with corporate tax revenue losses in the UK of approximately £7bn per annum.
Stuart Ledger, CFO of Affinity Water, said: “We are really pleased to have been awarded the Fair Tax Mark certification, meeting the very high standard required to achieve this accreditation. As a community focused company, we understand the expectations of customers and stakeholders to pay our fair share of tax. Today’s award recognises this, and the steps we have taken to improve the transparency of our tax affairs. It is good corporate responsibility to operate in this way. Our activities are and have always been fully taxable in the UK.”
The Fair Tax Mark certification scheme was launched in February 2014 to allow businesses that are paying tax in a responsible way to demonstrate this commitment to their customers, suppliers, investors and employees. Already some fifty businesses have been certified, including FTSE-listed plcs, co-operatives, social enterprises and large private business – who between them have income of £50bn and over 6,500 offices and outlets. Fair Tax Mark accredited businesses include Lush, Richer Sounds, Timpson Group, Leeds Building Society and the Co-op. Their commitment to tax transparency helps consumers understand more about their tax practises and make informed spending decisions.
Paul Monaghan, Chief Executive, Fair Tax Mark said: “Corporation Tax is often presented as a burden, but it shouldn’t be. 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.”