It is Good to Pay Tax

In: BlogDate: Feb 01, 2011By: Henry Stewart

There have a been series of demonstrations organised by UK Uncut and others against companies who have been avoiding paying their tax.

I say good luck to those protestors. How about forming a group of companies committed to paying their tax to put extra pressure on those multi-nationals seeking to avoid it?

But I’m having difficulty finding companies to join! I asked our accountants if any of their clients were happy to pay their tax in full. He thought for a moment, casting his mind over hundreds of companies, and said “maybe one”. I wrote before of finding, when looking for a new auditor, that the focus of nearly every auditor we met was how to help me avoid paying tax.

Where is our sense of social responsibility? We expect to get the benefits of public spending. We expect our workforce to be educated, we expect healthcare for when we or they are ill, we expect to be protected against crime, we expect good transport and infrastructure.

I don’t want to seem holier than thou. To be honest, we haven’t made a lot of profit in the two years of recession. But when we did well in the previous years, it seemed only appropriate to pay our fair share.

So next time you hear a representative of a company, whether large or small, talking about corporate social responsibility and their contribution to society, ask them a simple question: Is their company committed to paying their full UK tax bill?

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Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd. Following a fairly disastrous job early on in his career, Henry was determined to discover what enabled a productive and happy workplace. In 1987 Henry set up what was originally called Happy Computers. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he built a company with a reputation for some of the best customer service in the country and one of the UK’s best places to work, winning multiple awards for its culture and philosophy. His book, the Happy Manifesto, was published by in 2013.

Outside of work he is a father of three, Chair of Governors at his local comprehensive in Hackney and a keen cyclist.

You can find Henry on LinkedIn and follow @happyhenry on Twitter.

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