This month, the fair tax movement took a huge leap forward and as a company, we continue to put our weight behind it:
Parliament passed an amendment to the Finance Bill which makes corporate tax transparency a real possibility in the future. Drawn up by Caroline Flint MP and with cross-party backing, the amendment enabled the Treasury to introduce public country-by-country reporting.
This reporting is vital for seeing how money is flowing within businesses. It’s the best way of proving that companies are paying taxes where profits are actually made, instead of funnelling profits in other locations to take unfair advantage of lower taxes.
Kenneth Thom of Create Bathroom and Kitchen Studio in Rutherglen, a leading proponent of tax transparency for all businesses, has welcomed the recent amendment to the Finance Bill 2016 giving the Treasury the option to require public country by country (CbC) reporting as part of a group’s published tax strategy.
The amendment does not include a fixed timetable for implementation, but increases the pressure for adoption of multilateral public reporting initiatives such as those proposed by the EU. Tabled by Caroline Flint MP and her PAC colleagues, they campaigned for greater transparency after their evidence session with Google and HMRC when they battled with the secrecy surrounding the £130 million settlement reached over the tech giant’s tax bill.
Kenneth Thom, Director of Create Studio, commented:
“This is welcomed and I really hope it is more than just paying lip service to a problem which is endemic in the business world. As a local company employing a total of 8 people, I paid double what Facebook did in tax last year – there is something glaringly wrong with the current tax system. We need really robust methods to hold multinationals to account and hopefully this will put pressure on The Treasury to respond appropriately.”
Country-by-country reporting is about requiring multinational corporations to disclose financial details about their operations in every country where they are active. This is obviously a basic prerequisite of democratic society, yet it has been largely absent from the world until recently. Institutions (such as the EU and OECD) and individual countries, including the UK, are now starting to put this concept into practice.
Kenneth Thom can be contacted on 0141 647 6316 or email: Kenneth@barclayerskine.co.uk