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Combating tax dodging

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Combating tax dodging

DUMFRIES and Galloway Council will play its part in combating tax dodging after agreeing to sign up to a national campaign.

The local authority has agreed to align with Councils For Fair Tax Declaration, an organisation where UK cities, towns and districts stand up for responsible tax conduct.

This means that the council will take various steps to encourage fair taxation and discourage tax avoidance when working with contractors and in other business dealings.
North West Dumfries Councillor Paula Stevenson tabled a motion at last week’s full council meeting calling for the local authority to endorse the principles of the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration.
This was seconded by Nith Councillor Keith Walters and ultimately backed by all other councillors, meaning that Dumfries and Galloway will become the fifth council in Scotland to sign up to the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration.
In her statement, Councillor Stevenson wrote: “Recent polling conducted in 2022 found that over two thirds of people in Scotland believe the government and local councils should consider a company’s ethics in how they pay their tax, as well as value for money and quality of service provided when awarding contracts to companies.
“The Fair Tax Mark accreditation scheme is the gold standard of responsible tax conduct. It seeks to encourage and recognise organisations that pay the right amount of corporation tax, at the right time, and in the right place.
“Tax contributions are a vital part of the broader social and economic contribution made by businesses, helping the communities in which they operate to deliver valuable public services and build infrastructure that paves the way for growth.”
Research commissioned by the Fair Tax Foundation revealed that between 2014-19, a 17.5 percent of UK public procurement contracts – with a combined value of £37.5bn – were won by businesses with connections to a tax haven.
Recent research has found that the UK loses an estimated £17bn in corporation tax revenues as a result of profit shifting alone.

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