Fair Tax Week (8th-18th June) is a recognition of the businesses proud to promote responsible tax conduct and the positive contribution this makes to society. As a Fair Tax Mark accredited businesses, we voluntarily engage and promote transparent and fair tax practices.
This week, David spoke at the Fair Tax Week reception, ‘Fairness matters: public attitudes to corporate tax conduct’ at the Scottish Parliament. The event was organised in partnership with the Fair Tax Foundation to mark Fair Tax Week and in response to a new report analysing seven years’ worth of UK and Scottish attitudes to responsible tax conduct – covering topics from tax conditionality on government bailouts to corporate financial disclosure requirements.
Public Attitudes towards Businesses and Tax
The report revealed that an overwhelming majority of the UK public show a strong propensity to ‘shop with’ and ‘work for’ businesses that demonstrate responsible tax conduct. This matches the public support held towards other ethical standards.
- The vast majority (72%) of the UK public would ‘rather work for a business which can prove that it’s paying its fair share of tax’.
- A substantial majority (62%) of the UK public said that they would ‘trust a business with the Fair Tax Mark more than one without it’.
There is also a strong motivation to see a ‘celebration’ of those businesses that pay the right amount of tax, with overt rejections of the use of tax havens and tax avoidance practices. The report also highlighted the wish that public procurement tenders should consider a company’s ethics and how they pay their tax, as well as value for money and quality of service.
Here at Brett Nicholls Associates, our views are very much aligned with the majority. We recognise the demand for fair practices and our own business practices reflect that.
We do not undertake business that requires notification to HMRC under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations, nor do we take advantage of allowances made available in tax law that are contrary to the spirit of the law.
We offer transparent advice and solutions to clients seeking to minimise their tax liabilities but in ways which we deem appropriate in the context of fair tax practices. We believe tax havens undermine the UK’s tax system and accordingly do no make use of those places to secure a tax advantage for our firm or for our clients.
The Fair Tax Foundation has a variety of resources if your own business is looking to become Fair Tax Accredited or if you simply want to learn more about fair tax business practices. Important research and discussion topics include beneficial ownership disclosure, the need for public procurement reform, the issue of tax havens, and how investors could better factor tax into their ESG frameworks.
Tax is often presented as a burden but it should be considered in light of its aims to counter financial inequalities and rebalance distorted economies.