SSE "one of UK's most transparent companies on tax"

SSE has been awarded the Fair Tax Mark for the third year in a row – further improving its tax transparency and setting a positive example for other businesses to follow.

SSE has been reaccredited by the independent Fair Tax Mark body in recognition of its responsible tax policies and the detailed disclosure of its tax affairs. Its Director, Emily Kenway, said SSE is “one of the most transparent companies in the UK when it comes to tax.”

This year SSE published its first Talk Tax booklet aimed at giving a short, clear and easy to read guide to what taxes it pays and where it pays them. It outlines SSE’s £867.3m total tax contribution in the UK and €53.8m in Ireland as well as breaking it down by type of tax paid.

This reporting has been heralded by the Fair Tax Mark as the right approach for companies to demonstrate their tax affairs in a simple format that a wider audience can understand as well as building trust in businesses that pay their fair share, at the right time and in the right way.

Corporation tax avoidance costs the UK economy over five billion pounds every year. Despite ever increasing calls from the public and politicians – including the new Prime Minister - for businesses to act responsibly, SSE remains the only FTSE 100 company to open its books and be accredited by the independent Fair Tax Mark body.

Emily Kenway, Director of the Fair Tax Mark, said: “SSE has led the charge in demonstrating its transparency on tax and this year increased it further with more enhanced and detailed reporting. It’s fair to say it’s one of the most transparent companies in the UK when it comes to tax.

“It should be applauded for its willingness to be open, direct and clear about the taxes it pays and the contribution it makes in the countries it operates in.

“Government and wider society expect these high standards of business and we want to work with more UK and multi-national companies to help them build trust and show they’re acting responsibly and within the letter and spirit of the law.”

Gregor Alexander, Finance Director of SSE, said: “For the third year in a row we’ve taken positive steps around the transparency of our tax affairs.

“Paying the right tax, in the right way at the right time is a business’ duty to the society it operates in, the customers it serves and the shareholders it represents.

“At SSE we’ll continue to build on the transparent reporting of our tax affairs and would hope other businesses would join us in raising the standards. After all, it is in all our interests that the UK has a healthy tax base from which to support the public services we all rely on.”

Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said: “The public will no longer accept secret, complex tax arrangements by companies. SSE is setting the bar for other companies by openly supporting fair tax. More companies need to follow suit.”

SSE’s reaccreditation was also supported by Caroline Flint, former shadow energy secretary. She said: “I congratulate SSE on their Fair Tax Mark accreditation. By their efforts, SSE set an important example to businesses everywhere – that greater transparency is nothing to be afraid of. I hope more businesses will follow their lead to make tax transparency matter-of-course.”

To gain the world’s first independent accreditation for fair tax SSE provides increased information that moves its disclosure well beyond the current requirements of UK company law including ruling out the use of tax havens, committing to country-by-country reporting and clear, transparent statements on its tax approach.

Read the full report here.