OREANDA-NEWS. SSE plc, the UK's second largest energy supplier, has been accredited by the Fair Tax Mark in recognition of its responsible attitude to corporation tax for a second successive year.

The company is still the only FTSE 100 firm to achieve the independent accreditation – despite tax transparency currently being a major issue of public concern.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE, said: “We’re delighted to have received accreditation again from the Fair Tax Mark because it palpably demonstrates that we’re paying our fair share here in the UK.

“We know there’s deep anger from the public towards companies that don’t take a responsible approach to paying taxes.  Frankly, one year on I’m surprised and disappointed more FTSE 100 companies have not looked to join us in gaining this mark and going further on tax transparency.  
“Tax should not be seen as a penalty on profit.  Paying the right amount of tax, in the right country, at the right time and in the right way is how businesses contribute back to the society that enables them to be successful in the first place.”

In 2014/15 SSE paid over ?506m in taxes in the UK and Ireland. SSE became the first FTSE 100 company to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark in 2014, setting a new benchmark for transparency disclosing well beyond the current UK company law requirements allowing anyone to properly appraise its tax affairs.

Richard Murphy, Director of the Fair Tax Mark, said: “At the Fair Tax Mark we are delighted that SSE remains our biggest partner and has been re-accredited for the Mark this year. SSE have joined us in highlighting the need for improved transparency on tax in the UK.

“Recent public outrage about how some companies handle their tax affairs shows that public demand for changes in accountability on tax is undiminished. Big names like Facebook and Starbucks have had serious reputational issues and with partners like SSE we're helping pave the way to a better understanding of the contribution big business can make to the society we all live in.”

YouGov research conducted this year for SSE found that only six percent of the public trust a company to provide accurate information on whether they were paying the right amount of tax.

Six out of seven (86 per cent) people believe companies should pay tax to a country based on the amount of business or profit is generated in that country while more than two thirds (69 per cent) say the Government should consider how a company pays its taxes when awarding contracts.

Tax avoidance costs Britain tens of billions in lost revenue every year.  

In changing its tax reporting to comply with the Fair Tax Mark criteria SSE is providing information that moves its disclosure well beyond the current requirements of UK company law to ensure that it provides all its stakeholders with the information they need to properly appraise its tax affairs.

Furthermore SSE has set a new benchmark for transparency and disclosure in the reporting of the tax affairs of a large UK company with international operations.