South West Water parent Pennon Group last month became the first water provider to secure the Fair Tax Mark – an independent certification scheme, which recognises organisations that demonstrate they are paying the right amount of corporation tax in the right place, at the right time.
Fair Tax Mark listed the following factors as contributing to Pennon’s certification:
all operations and subsidiaries are subject to tax in the UK;
a detailed and highly accessible tax strategy, which explains clearly the impact of capital allowance tax reliefs;
excellent tax notes that provide a detailed numerical reconciliation and narrative for any deviations from the expected headline corporation tax rate;
an average current tax charge of £31m per annum over the last four years; and
Pennon publishes an annual tax strategy and its tax disclosure has been cited as good practice by the Financial Reporting Council.
Pennon Group chief financial officer, Susan Davy, said: “We are committed to following both the spirit and letter of the law with regards to our tax contributions. We do so because our customers tell us that it is important to them, and because it’s the right thing to do. The taxes we pay help fund vital public services, investment in people and investment in infrastructure to support future growth.
“The UK would not be the country it is without the tax contributions of business of all sizes, operating in all sectors. We are all too aware that the attitude towards payment of taxes of a few companies has been a factor in a loss of public confidence in big business and we will play our part in winning that trust back.”
Paul Monaghan, chief executive, Fair Tax Mark, explained: “It is estimated that €600bn of corporate profits are annually shifted to tax havens, with corporate tax revenue losses globally of €200bn per year - which equates to approximately £7bn of missing revenues in the UK.
“Paying the right amount of tax is about fairness and ensuring a level-playing field for business. The Fair Tax Mark is one way that consumers can easily recognise those who are doing the right thing, and show their support through using their goods and services.”
Pennon joins other FTSE-listed businesses, SSE, Go Ahead and Marshalls, in securing Fair Tax Mark certification – together with well-known national retailers such as Lush, Leeds Building Society, Richer Sounds, Timpson, AMT Coffee and the Co-op.