Why do we need a Tax Justice Sunday?
This is a guest blog post from Sarah Edwards, Executive Director at JustMoney Movement, for Fair Tax Week 2023.
Fair Tax Week 2023 (8th-18th June) is a recognition of the businesses and organisations that are proud to promote responsible tax conduct, and a celebration of the positive contribution this makes to society.
Organisations and businesses often use Fair Tax Week as a platform to highlight their own interests and work.
Tax Justice Sunday (during Fair Tax Week) has been running for several years now, as part of the JustMoney Movement’s Church Action for Tax Justice campaign.
We work with individuals and congregations across the UK churches to promote the idea of tax as a fundamentally good thing and our ability to pay it as something to celebrate. Tax enables us to organise our collective life together at local, national and global levels, addressing challenges that we cannot deal with as individuals. It provides revenue for essential services and protects the structure of law and standards that govern everyday life. In Christian terms it’s a way of loving our neighbours, near and far.
Tax Justice Sunday (11th June this year) gives churches a moment in the year to focus on what a fairer, more just tax system could look like – reflecting on what Jesus taught about poverty and wealth; recalling biblical principles such as the Jubilee pattern of restoration set out in the book of Leviticus – restoring relationships with God, but also between people, cancelling debts, releasing the enslaved, resting the land. In sermons, services and small group meetings across the UK, churches are encouraged to think about what this might mean for our taxes today. We have a whole host of resources on our website to help.
As well as reflecting on tax from a Christian perspective, Tax Justice Sunday is also a focused moment for action. Our Church Action for Tax Justice campaign supports a variety of measures, like holding businesses to account for their tax practices, whether in the UK or around the world. We’re delighted that several faith-based organisations, such as Clean for Good and Epworth Investment Management, are Fair Tax Mark accredited and actively promote their commitment to financial transparency. You can find out more about our areas of work and take action on our website.
Our involvement in Tax Justice Sunday and the wider Fair Tax Week reflects our broader aim as the JustMoney Movement – to bring people of faith together in a movement with others, learning and taking action so that a more just use of money helps to shape a fairer, greener future. Tax Justice Sunday gives us an opportunity to reflect on something we might sometimes see as a burden, and to create a different response – to shift the narrative, so that we might see tax as a blessing: a tool to create a more just world.