Go-Ahead’s tax innovation

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So far every company that has been awarded the Fair Tax Mark has had to make some change to its financial reporting to achieve the ranking needed to be awarded the Mark. It's been interesting to work with all the companies in question on these disclosure issues.

Go-Ahead Group plc has innovated in its tax notes, published this morning, by including a note almost never seen in statutory accounts. This reconciles the various ways in which tax is presented in the accounts, whether in the balance sheet, income statement, the statement of changes in equity or the cash flow. This is as follows:

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This appears to be a simple statement but in the vast majority of published accounts it is nigh on impossible to reproduce this reconciliation based on the available published data and yet it is a basic test of the credibility for the tax data presented by a company.

I am delighted that Go-Ahead have offered this statement in their accounts. I hope a great many companies copy their example. It may be a small change, but it's of great importance to those wanting to know that companies really are willing to be accountable for the taxes that they pay.