Our accreditation process is simple and straightforward
1) Contact us. Use our contact form to let us know that you are interested, and provide us with some basic information so that we can respond fully and quickly.
2) Letter of Engagement. We will speak with you about your exact needs, and agree the process of accreditation that is appropriate for your business. Then we’ll sign a Letter of Engagement with you – which details scope of services, fees, timescales, responsibilities, confidentiality undertakings, criteria and other matters.
3) Information sharing and Assessment. We will review your recent Financial Statements and connected communications. From this, a detailed and confidential report (in the form of a scorecard) will be produced that highlights how you would perform against the relevant Fair Tax Mark accreditation standard, together with suggested areas of improvement. This stage normally takes around four to eight weeks, subject to the information required being readily available. The clear suggestions we provide could feed into the production of your next set of Annual Report and Accounts, or lead to the production of a bespoke public documentation that augments your existing Annual Report and Accounts (should you wish to progress more quickly).
4) Licencing and Announcement. As and when reporting, policies and practice pass the Fair Tax Mark threshold, you would be able to use the Fair Tax Mark in public communications for a qualifying period of usually twelve months. A Licence Agreement would be issued and you would then be able to use the Fair Tax Mark logo and related materials in public communications for the qualifying period. We would work together to announce and celebrate your certification via a range of communication channels.
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. Fair Tax Mark companies tell us that the process of accreditation is a valuable means to benchmark performance and move towards best practice. They appreciate that the bar is set high and view this as a valuable asset in an area where trust is often low.
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.
Note: initially, Fair Tax Mark accreditation was available only to businesses headquartered in the UK, but this was extended internationally to multinational enterprises on 25th November 2021, with the launch of the ‘Global Multinational Business Standard’.
Our fees are based on the size, structure, and complexity of the organisation, as set out:
- here for UK-based business, and,
- from November 25th 2021, here, for all multinational business head-quartered outside of the UK.
Please note: re-accreditation is an annual process, with each of the two aforementioned stages progressing afresh based on the information detailed in the updated set of annual financial statements.