We are calling for a Fair Tax Lockdown

In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the UK Government, like many across the world, has made available unprecedented financial support for businesses and workers financially impacted by the crisis and the ongoing lockdown. We believe that this is right and proper, given that the lockdown, with its financial consequences, is being undertaken to lessen the impact of Covid-19 on our health services, and to protect people, especially the elderly and those with existing health conditions.

In addition to the financial support made available, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, a 12-month business rate holiday and a new lending facility from the Bank of England, some business sectors are requesting bespoke bailout packages. To date, the UK Government has largely resisted these calls, but if bailouts are to progress, then we believe that they should be accompanied with fair tax conditions – what we call a “Fair Tax Lockdown”.

To qualify for financial bailouts a business should:

  • Say no to tax havens and tax avoidance. Publish a binding tax policy that explicitly shuns tax avoidance and the artificial use of tax havens, and commits to the declaration of profits in the place where their economic substance arises (i.e., no profit-shifting). This policy should be the subject of an annual compliance audit, and be “owned” by a designated board director.
  • Lift the lid on income and tax around the world. Ensure that the consolidated annual profit & loss of the parent company is publicly available, together with details of associated corporation tax payments (total, current and deferred tax). Multinational enterprise should disclose this on a Country-by-Country basis. A current tax reconciliation should be provided, together with a narrative to explain any deviations from the headline tax rate(s).
  • Disclose who ultimately profits. Make clear who the ultimate beneficial owners of the business are, and those with significant control.

We believe that these measures are fair, material and proportionate. And, importantly, they are more robust than the conditions set forward by others including Denmark, France and Poland, who say they will stop bailout monies going to businesses based in tax havens. These initiatives are welcome but ultimately weak, being premised on the EU’s tax haven blacklist which does not include significant tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and the Netherlands.

If a business is not actively involved in tax avoidance, these conditions can quickly and easily be committed to.

Read, sign and share

38 Degrees petition

In late April a Fair Tax Mark supporter set up a petition on 38 Degrees in support of our call for a Fair Tax Lockdown. Please sign and share.

Our letter to the Chancellor

On 20th April we sent a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak detailing our call for a Fair Tax Lockdown. You can read the full letter here.

Stay up to date

On Twitter and Facebook we will be sharing updates and articles on the Fair Tax Lockdown – follow us here and please help us out by re-sharing.

The Co-operative Party

The Co-operative Party have launched a campaign in support of the #FairTaxLockdown called: No Bailouts For Tax Avoiders. To accompany their petition they produced a short video featuring Fair Tax Mark CEO Paul Monaghan – watch and share it here.

The Independent

Following the announcement of Denmark excluding businesses based in tax havens from receiving any financial bailout, The Independent published an article covering the more robust conditions as set forward in our Fair Tax Lockdown.