The Go-Ahead Group plc the first FTSE 350 company awarded the Fair Tax Mark

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The Fair Tax Mark issued this press release this morning:

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The Go-Ahead Group plc, one of the UK's largest transport providers, has announced today that it has been awarded the Fair Tax Mark. It is the first FTSE 350 company to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark, which was launched in February 2014.

Over one billion passenger journeys are made possible by Newcastle based Go-Ahead every year and now their customers have the reassurance that they are travelling with a company that’s part of a growing network of organisations who are proud to publicly declare that they are committed to fair tax.

Go-Ahead Chief Executive Officer, David Brown, said:

As a socially responsible organisation, transparency and openness are important to us, so we are pleased to be recognised by being the first in the FTSE 350 to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark.

Meesha Nehru from the Fair Tax Mark said:

 Were delighted to have worked with Go-Ahead Group plc on the award of their Fair Tax Mark. The team at Go-Ahead showed real commitment to this exercise, adopted a new group tax policy that best reflected their current practice and revised the way they present tax data in their accounts to provide information that met the Fair Tax Mark criteria. As a result theyve committed to not use tax havens or tax avoidance arrangements, to have good relationships with HM Revenue & Customs and to disclose how they get to the tax figures in their accounts. This has put them way ahead of the pack, and were delighted to recognise that fact.

The Fair Tax Mark is an independent accreditation process that enables companies to make a public declaration regarding their corporation tax position. The Fair Tax Mark empowers consumers who want to identify organisations that are taking a responsible approach to tax and making a fair contribution to society. The Mark is awarded following a review of the company's accounts and web site and focuses both on corporation tax paid and on the content and clarity of the taxation statements in the publicly available accounts.

Fair Tax Mark Limited is a community benefit society  (reg no 32308R) and was established in February 2014 thanks to the founding supporters, The Unity Trust Bank, Midcounties Co-operative and The Phone Co-op.

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I am a director of the Fair Tax Mark. I am delighted that Go-Ahead applied for the Fair Tax Mark. As with all companies that have been awarded the Fair Tax Mark to date this has required changes to some of the Group's accounting disclosures to deliver greater clarity on tax and clarification on the Group's tax policy, including making a public commitment to avoid the use of tax havens and tax avoidance schemes. The result is more information on tax due and paid in the Group's financial statements and a clear commitment to the public that they can rely on this company not taking part in the types of tax activity that have caused concern to so many people in recent years. This is, of course, exactly the reason why the Mark was created in the first place.