Responsible tax behaviour strongly resonates with both customers and employees

In various regions around the globe, there is a growing inclination to support businesses that exhibit responsible tax conduct – a trend that is on par with other ethical considerations. There is a profound desire to celebrate and champion those businesses that pay their rightful share of taxes while openly rejecting the use of tax havens and contrived tax avoidance strategies.

For example, in the United Kingdom, an overwhelming majority (70%) of the public would ‘rather shop with a business which can prove that it’s paying its fair share of tax’. Furthermore, a significant portion (62%) attests that they would ‘trust a business with the Fair Tax Mark more than one without it’. Similarly, a substantial majority (72%) of the UK public would ‘rather work for businesses which can prove that it’s paying its fair share of tax’.

Across the Atlantic in the United States, research conducted among S&P 500 companies reveals that news coverage related to tax avoidance triggers a decline in employee perceptions of both managers and firms, with the most substantial changes occurring in consumer-facing industries.

On a global scale, the World Values Survey underlines that 62% of individuals assert that ‘cheating on taxes’ is ‘never justifiable,’ with only a mere 2.1% deeming it ‘always justifiable.’ This sentiment varies significantly across countries, ranging from 89% in Ethiopia to 22% in Tajikistan.

Responsible tax conduct is gaining prominence as a consideration in business-to-business supply chain procurement, championed by organisations like Richer Sounds and Leeds Building Society. Additionally, numerous campaigns in various countries are advocating for the inclusion of responsible tax practices as a consideration in public sector procurement, exemplified by the initiatives in Denmark, Spain, and the UK.

The Covid-19 pandemic has further solidified public sentiment against businesses that duck their tax responsibilities. When citizens in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States were surveyed about whether private sector rescue packages should be contingent on the cessation of the artificial use of tax havens, no less than 84% agreed in each country.

As more and more businesses step up to embrace responsible tax conduct, the mounting pressure on other businesses to follow suit is undeniable. This shift underscores the growing global awareness of the importance of fair taxation and its impact on both business ethics and public sentiment.

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