Fair Tax Mark goes international with accreditation of European energy company, Vattenfall

By November 25, 2021News

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Fair Tax Mark goes international with accreditation of European energy company, Vattenfall

The Fair Tax Foundation today (25th November 2021) launched its new Fair Tax Mark Global Multinational Business Standard, and announced the accreditation of European energy company Vattenfall, who become the first business headquartered outside of the UK to be Fair Tax Mark certified.

Fair Tax Mark accreditation is the gold standard of responsible tax conduct, but to date has only been available to businesses headquartered in the UK. With the launch of the new Global Multinational Business Standard, which has taken two years to develop, the Fair Tax Mark is now open to any multinational enterprise in the world.

Vattenfall, which is headquartered in Sweden, is the first business to be accredited against the new global standard and will become the largest business to secure the Fair Tax Mark. Vattenfall is one of Europe’s largest producers and retailers of electricity and heat, with significant markets in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Denmark and Finland. It has approximately 20,000 employees and wants to make fossil-free living possible within one generation.

Paul Monaghan, Chief Executive, Fair Tax Foundation said: “We are absolutely delighted to launch our new Global Multinational Business Standard and announce that Vattenfall is the first business to be accredited against it. Vattenfall is a global exemplar of responsible tax conduct and rightly say what they pay with pride. They embrace the challenge of providing leading-edge tax transparency, and are refreshingly committed to providing a financial country-by-country breakdown.”

“The internationalisation of the Fair Tax Mark has been driven by approaches from businesses across the world who are seeking accreditation and to stand up for responsible tax conduct. It is no longer enough for a business to claim that their tax conduct is acceptable as long as they are not breaking the letter of the law – in the same way that such a narrow framing of impact would be disparaged if it were to be deployed with environmental and human rights considerations. Tax avoidance and evasion is a global issue. Close to 40% of multinational profits (some US$950bn) are artificially shifted to tax havens each year, leading to a staggering US$240bn reduction in corporate income tax revenue across the world per annum.”

Kerstin Ahlfont, CFO, Vattenfall

Kerstin Ahlfont, CFO, Vattenfall, said: “We are delighted to become the first company outside the UK to be accredited with the Fair Tax Mark using the new Global Multinational Business Standard. We believe that this is one additional step towards increased tax transparency and the accreditation process has given us confirmation that we have much of the required information and processes in place but also that we can further improve in some areas. Our Tax Policy focuses on tax compliance and tax efficiency, but as sustainability is our business, it is also important that Vattenfall is a frontrunner in the tax sustainability area. We should secure that we pay the correct amount of tax in each country we operate in and that tax transparency is a part of this process.”

The internationalisation of the Fair Tax Mark allows multinationals all across the world to stand up for responsible tax conduct and differentiate themselves from competitors. The trend toward greater tax transparency is now strongly moving in one direction and the Fair Tax Foundation is engaged with a number of major corporations who share these aspirations.

Jonathon Locascio, Senior Director of Tax, Snap Inc, said: “At Snap, we view tax not just as a legal obligation but as a way to appropriately support the communities where we operate — in other words, we view it as part of our overall corporate mission.  There is considerable alignment between Fair Tax Mark and the Snap Tax Strategy publicly disclosed in our recent 2021 CitizenSnap report, most foundationally the perspectives of fairness and transparency that result in paying the right amount of tax, at the right time and in the right place.  We commit to publicly disclosing, on a country-by-country basis, our total tax contribution when we become profitable and income tax expense and income taxes paid become material, at which point we look forward to receiving certification from Fair Tax Mark.”

The Fair Tax Mark continues to grow robustly in the UK, with over seventy businesses now accredited – including national brands (such as Timpson, Lush and Richer Sounds), listed companies (including SSE, Severn Trent, Marshalls and Gleeson) as well as co-operatives and social enterprises (such as Leeds Building Society, Suma, Epworth Investment Management, Ethical Property, Friendly Soap and Scotmid Coop) and large private business (such as Mace and MAPS Medical Reporting).