I wrote a blog for the Fair Tax Mark site this morning, which began saying:
Ben Saunders, a Chartered Tax Adviser who works for Tolley, the publishing company that earlier this year described Margaret Hodge MP as ‘Tax Prat of the Year‘, has published a critique of the Fair Tax Mark. It concludes with the comment ‘Fair Tax Mark? Pass me the Trade Descriptions Act please’. We could, of course, dismiss that in the same way as many dismissed the comments on Margaret Hodge but we won’t; part of our ethic is to be open with our critics. In this case we offer what follows as a reasoned response to his criticisms.
That I then do, for about 2,500 words.
The summary is a simple one though: if Saunders thinks that transparency and tax havens are not tax issues then he is wrong on both counts whilst his maths would remove much of the information we wish to disclose and including deferred tax in the tax charge we should consider would mean much tax avoidance would remain unidentified. As for demanding that we take into account taxable and not accounting profits, it is an intriguing idea with just one flaw in the logic, which is that taxable profits are not published meaning no Fair Tax Mark could be created.
Maybe that’s what he wants but we wanted a Fair Tax Mark and I believe that is exactly what we have delivered.