A big thank you to 38 Degrees
The wonderful thing about the internet is that things happen quickly. Yesterday morning we found that the post sent out by 38 Degrees had motivated 1700+ people to like and several hundred to comment on the Fair Tax Mark ‘s accreditation of SSE and our ongoing campaign. The many supportive messages as well as the quality and insight displayed by the criticisms and queries has been inspiring.
The size of the response makes addressing every point impossible, however we would like to try to answer some specific comments. Hopefully this will help everyone as we each seek out how we (both collectively and as individuals) can take positive action against the companies who are failing to pay their fair share of corporation tax.
1) “Why do companies need a pat on the back for paying tax”.
Current legislation makes it legal for companies to pursue active policies that allow them to reduce their liability for corporation tax. (There is a mistaken public perception that a company has a duty to avoid tax – see out FAQ page for the debunking of this myth). Any company choosing to go against this current trend and choosing not to put profits above ethics is taking a bold decision. It is a brave company that shuns the economic advantages that can be gained from clever accountancy. The companies that are using the Fair Tax Mark as a tool to pubicaly declare they pay their fair share should be praised.
2) “Wow, companies get an award for paying your tax ! When do I get mine”?
Firstly the Fair Tax Mark is not an award, it is an independent accreditation process. It begins when a company volunteers to have their accounts audited and put their tax policy and the proof they are following it on public record. We all have to pay tax, but few of us would ever volunteer to put all our tax affairs in the public arena.
Any company that believes in contributing to the society from which they profit by paying corporation tax (despite possibly having many legal routes enabling them to contribute less) ought to recognised.
3) “The answer is to introduce laws that ensure companies pay their fair share”.
No arguments on this point, if the Fair Tax Mark was not needed then we would not be here. We agree that new legislation and rules are desperately needed but in a globalised world this takes a long time to be implemented and requires cooperation between many governments, and whilst we continue to lose billions in revenue we just don’t have that time. The Fair Tax Mark makes companies go above and beyond current laws and put all their affairs on public record. This is a groundbreaking step for people power over corporate secrecy and supporting the Fair Tax Mark helps to bring about the conditions where government may be encouraged to act.
4) “Companies should all do it”.
Of course they should – we hope that the Fair Tax Mark will demonstrate that there are enough people who care about this issue to encourage more businesses to change their practice and recognise the value in being transparent and fair on tax. We hope you’ll join us!
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