The Fair Tax Mark accreditation standards are based on the following principles
A business should:
- pay the right amount of tax (but no more) in the right place at the right time, according to both the letter and the spirit of the law;
- readily provide sufficient public information to enable its stakeholders to form a rounded and informed view of its beneficial ownership, tax conduct and financial presence (across the world if they are a multinational);
- say what they pay with pride.
As part of our assessment we review policy, reporting and tax payments, and subsequently provide suggestions for improvement.
The scoring system underpinning the Fair Tax Mark accreditation standards is predominantly driven by the belief that ‘transparency’ encourages, and helps business demonstrate, responsible tax conduct. The tax contribution made by a business over a number of years is also considered (with feedback from civil society strongly supporting inclusion of this additional element). However, there are many good reasons why a business may not be paying high tax rates over a given period – for example, it may be loss-making in some years, or legitimate tax reliefs are being claimed within both the spirit and letter of the law. Such businesses can still secure a Fair Tax Mark, but additional disclosures will be needed – especially in connection with shortfalls from the applicable headline rates of tax in operation.
Currently, we have three Standards available for UK-based business: