Good Business Charter pay fair tax feature image

Pay fair tax

The GBC requires businesses to commit to paying their taxes, not engage in tax avoidance and commit to be transparent in their relationship with HMRC.  Where you offer tax advice to clients, we would also expect these same principles to be promoted.

Why it matters

We believe that all corporations and individuals have to do their bit to make sure that the services we need and enjoy are paid for by all under a fair system.  Businesses benefit from a workforce educated in schools and cared for by the health service as well as from well-maintained roads and many other parts of the state’s infrastructure that enable companies to do business.


The GBC requires businesses to adhere to responsible tax management practices. We define tax avoidance as a deliberate attempt to get out of an obligation to pay tax by entering into a set of artificial arrangements which have little or no commercial purpose other than the reduction of a tax bill.

For the avoidance of doubt, this does not include the use of tax reliefs or allowances that governments make available to companies, as long as the relief is claimed in a way which aligns with government policy intention.

We will ask if you are accredited by the Fair Tax Mark which we recognise and recommend as a reputable organisation.  If you are, we do not need to any further questions.  You do not have to become accredited by Fair Tax Mark to gain GBC accreditation.  If you are not accredited by the Fair Tax Mark we will instead ask the following questions:    

  1. Do you commit to pay your taxes and not engage in tax avoidance, as defined above, and to publish your tax policy in the public domain?
  2. Do you provide information on your website or in your company accounts about your company’s approach to paying corporation tax or do you commit to this going forwards?
  3. Do you commit to be transparent in your relationship with HMRC, providing all relevant information to them and to cooperate in resolving any disputes?  

We may request copies of appropriate accounts to confirm this information.  

If you are a company that offers tax advice as part of your business operations, we may also request a copy of your policy relevant to these tax services to ensure that these services also comply with our tax requirements.

For smaller companies, the tax policy referred to in question two could be as simple a statement as saying: ‘We pay full corporation tax calculated on our profits each year’.

With thanks to the Fair Tax Mark, TaxWatch UK and the CBI‘s seven tax principles for influencing our work.


If you are concerned that you will not be able to answer these questions but believe that your business or charity practices follow the spirit of this component, please consult with us so that we can make a judgement on whether we believe you meet the requirements of the component.  We are really keen to have organisations of all sizes and from all types of industries and sectors joining the Good Business Charter.  These are standard questions and for some organisations there may be questions that are just not relevant or too onerous.  We want to hear from you if you feel that is the case and we will take a sympathetic view. 

Equally, companies with a smaller number of employees may feel that the wording of the questions is rather technical for the way they operate.  We do not want to exclude anyone behaving responsibly just because they feel this has not been designed with their organisation’s size or industry in mind.  We encourage you to apply the questions to your own unique setting and if in doubt, do contact us to explain the way in which you believe in your own way that you meet this component so that together we can consider whether it is sufficient or what else may be necessary to receive GBC accreditation.

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