Help us shape the Internationalisation of the Fair Tax Mark

Public consultation on the core requirements of future global standards

We have published ‘The Essential Elements of Global Corporate Standards for Responsible Tax Conduct’ – which tracks and analyses the many responsible tax initiatives that are now in play across the world, with a view to influencing and guiding the Fair Tax Mark’s consideration of a new suite of international standards that is now under development. These would enable the Fair Tax certification of businesses that have their ultimate holding company situated outside of the UK.

We invite comment on our analysis and conclusions. In particular, if we have omitted consideration of workstreams of which we were ignorant – especially outside of Europe. We have previously shared an earlier version of this Report with a range of civil society organisations, and incorporated feedback as warranted. We are now eager to receive a broader suite of feedback, not least from the business sector.

The ‘internationalisation’ of the Fair Tax mark is considered to be desirable given:

  • the Fair Tax Mark is now approached by businesses from around the world seeking accreditation;
  • civil society, regulators, investors and municipalities across the globe have expressed a desire to support Fair Tax Mark accreditation (or equivalent) in their jurisdictions;
  • there is in many parts of the world an ongoing international race to the bottom on tax, and this creates a downward pressure on standards everywhere; and
  • if no action is taken by civil society, unscrupulous accounting and auditing entities will step into the vacuum and propagate low-bar tax kitemarks.

The focus of our analysis is corporate income tax, and related measures that are designed to tackle the avoidance of this (such as digital services taxes). Businesses are subjected to many different types of tax, but Corporation Tax has an importance way beyond the revenues it raises. As argued by the Tax Justice Network: “It holds the whole tax system together. It curbs political and economic inequalities and helps rebalance distorted economies.”

We are seeking feedback in two ways:

  • Structured questions in an online questionnaire
  • Attending one of four webinars which will be held remotely on zoom in mid August (now passed)

Responses can be provided openly or in confidence.

Webinar sessions were run to cover different geographic areas:

  • Africa and Middle East Focus. Monday 10th August. 11.00am to 12.30pm BST.
  • European Focus. Tuesday 11th August. 12.00 noon to 1.30pm BST.
  • North America Focus. Wednesday 12th August. 5.00pm to 6.30pm BST.
  • Asia Pacific Focus. Tuesday 18th August 8.00am to 9.30am BST.
  • Latin America Focus. Tuesday September 29th 4.00pm to 5.30pm BST.

The research underpinning this report was kindly supported by a grant from Luminate.

The deadline for formal feedback was Wednesday 30th September 2020 though we’re always interested in comments and questions (via our usual contact email) on this project as it progresses.

How to get involved

You can read our report and proposals, and provide structured feedback by emailing us.