In a just tax system, everyone pays their fair share according to their means. But when those most able to pay can unfairly escape their contributions to society, the majority of people lose out. Inequality increases and there is less public money available to contribute towards improving the lives of the poorest.
At a time of economic difficulty in the UK, a National Audit Office report showed that more than 400 of the 800 largest businesses in the UK paid less than £10m in corporation tax in the 2012/13 fiscal year and around 160 paid no corporation tax at all. Companies may have legitimate reasons to pay little or no corporation tax, but it is an abuse of the tax system for companies to use legal and accounting tricks simply to cut their tax bills.
This briefing by a coalition of charities and campaigning organizations calls for bolder and broader action against tax dodging. All political parties in the UK can demonstrate stronger commitment to tackling these issues by pledging to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill in the first hundred days after the 2015 general election.
It also calls on all political parties to commit to spending the additional UK revenue arising from the Tax Dodging Bill on measures to reduce poverty.