SSE awarded fifth Fair Tax Mark

SSE has been reaccredited with the prestigious Fair Tax Mark for the fifth year in a row – demonstrating its transparency and commitment to play fair on tax. It remains the only FSTE100 company to have been accredited by the world’s first independent body scrutinising firms’ approach to tax.

Today SSE has also published its Talking Tax Booklet which gives a clear, easy to read guide of what taxes it pays and where it pays them.  In 2017-18 SSE’s total tax contribution was £1billion, inclusive of the taxes it pays and collects for Government.

Paul Monaghan, Chief Executive of the Fair Tax Mark, said SSE has set a standard for other businesses to follow in its approach to responsible tax conduct, with exemplary transparency and clear commitments to forego offshore profit shifting and complex tax structures.

He said:  “We are delighted to reaccredit SSE for the fifth time.  The Fair Tax Mark not only holds companies to the requirements of UK law but demands further transparency so the public can understand and be sure that they are paying the right share of tax, at the right time and in the right place.

“SSE has demonstrated this consistently since 2014 and its Talking Tax 2018 booklet raises the bar on the simplicity and transparency agenda further still, outlining what taxes it pays where and its responsible approach to tax.”

This year SSE has included more detail on its regulated networks business, Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN), demonstrating how privately owned utilities, working in the public interest, deliver a solid economic return for Great Britain.

Gregor Alexander, SSE Finance Director (left), said: “SSE has long made the case that tax is the fundamental way in which businesses contribute to the societies that enabled their business success.  Without it, we believe the public legitimacy of companies is diminished.

“While I am proud SSE stands out on tax, I would be delighted if more big businesses took the first steps towards Fair Tax Mark accreditation. With 47 accredited organisations the Fair Tax Mark is growing in respect, giving evidence and advice to the EU and Westminster Parliaments and considered the ‘gold standard’ for tax transparency.

“SSE believes so strongly that trust in big businesses is linked to tax conduct, we have promoted the principles of Fair Tax to the energy regulator Ofgem.  Customers want to know that the right amount of tax is paid at the right time and in the right place and – we believe – it is vital that the stewards of electricity network companies are open about their tax affairs.

“That’s why we want to work with Ofgem and our energy networks peers to introduce into the regulator’s price control framework standards of transparency like the Fair Tax Mark criteria, because it’s right that businesses working in the public interest demonstrate how they are delivering for society.”

To meet the criteria set by the Fair Tax Mark SSE is transparent about its tax affairs in a way that goes well beyond the current requirements of UK company law. SSE has ruled out the use of tax havens, commits to country-by-country reporting and seeks to make clear, transparent statements on its tax strategy.

Tax can be complicated and the amount paid depends on a company’s profits, when tax receipts are due and how much it invests.  Crucially, the Fair Tax Mark enables the public to be sure that an independent body has scrutinised its approach to ensure its not only playing fair by the rules but also acting in the spirit of the law.