Fair tax requires full disclosure on beneficial ownership

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This letter is in the Guardian this morning:

Next week the UK hosts a timely anti-corruption summit that will seek to nudge the world toward much-needed improvements in corporate transparency. As Fair Tax Mark certified businesses we applaud the UK taking the lead in establishing a public register of beneficial ownership, which will do much to tackle the corruption and tax avoidance connected with anonymous corporations. However, we would also like to see the government take affirmative action to ensure that such public transparency is extended to the UK’s overseas territories and crown dependencies – where so much concern rests following the disclosures within the Panama Papers.

Businesses must increasingly demonstrate that they are open and transparent about their tax affairs, and pay the right amount of corporation tax at the right time and in the right place. Clarity on beneficial ownership is crucial to this, and would level the playing field for responsible business practice.

Kim Coles Finance director, Lush
Ben Reid Chief executive, Midcounties Co-operative
Paul Ellis Chief executive, Ecology Building Society
Steph Gray Managing director, Helpful Technology
Vivian Woodell Chief executive, The Phone Co-op
Chris Dabbs Director of innovation, Unlimited Potential
Ramsay Dunning Managing director, The Co-operative Energy
Tom Stanley Founder, Urban IT Support
Ed Mayo Secretary general, Co-operatives UK
Matthew Bloch Managing director, Bytemark

As the founder of the Fair Tax Mark I both support these sentiments and am delighted that these companies do so too.