Churches invited to mark Tax Justice Sunday

By agency reporter
June 10, 2019

As part of Fair Tax Week, Sunday 7 July 2019 has been designated Tax Justice Sunday. Church Action for Tax Justice has provided a range of resources to help churches mark the importance of Tax Justice on this day, including worship resources, sermon notes, and hymns.

Church Action for Tax Justice (CATJ) and the Fair Tax Mark scheme are working together to make Fair Tax Week and Tax Justice Sunday an established part of the calendar, where organisations that do the right thing when it comes to tax are not only recognised but celebrated.

The Rev David Haslam, of CATJ, said: “In rich and poor countries alike, it is far too easy for large companies and wealthy individuals to avoid paying their fair share of tax. And, rather than celebrating tax as a powerful tool to create a more just society, tax is talked about in the negative – at best a burden to be minimised. Christians should love tax; it expresses that gratitude, sharing and justice which are the absolute heart of the Gospel. Fair Tax Week gives a real opportunity to bring this home to all people of faith, and Tax Justice Sunday especially to the whole Christian community.”

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, said: “We are not raising enough tax income to build a society in which everyone can flourish equally in line with our Quaker values of equality and justice. Tax is not a burden to be minimised, but is one way in which those who have enough can support those who have not. Fair taxation and the elimination of a culture of tax dodging would enable us to have a fair and just society where resources are more equally shared and good services exist for all.”

The Fair Tax Mark scheme accredits businesses and organisations across the UK that are committed to paying the right amount of corporation tax at the right time and in the right place. It was launched in 2014 and some fifty businesses have now been certified, including FTSE-listed companies, co-operatives, social enterprises and large private business – who between them have income of £50 billion and over 6,500 offices and outlets. Fair Tax Mark accredited businesses include Lush, Richer Sounds, Pennon Group, Leeds Building Society, SSE and the Co-op. Their commitment to tax transparency helps consumers understand more about their tax practices and make informed spending decisions.

Paul Monaghan, Chief Executive of Fair Tax Mark, said: “It is estimated that £400 billion of global corporate profits are shifted annually to tax havens, with corporate tax revenue losses in the UK of approximately £7 billion per annum. During Fair Tax Week we’ll be celebrating the organisations that are proud to pay the right amount of tax for the benefit of all, and to ensure a level playing-field for business. We are delighted that Fair Tax Week 2019 will be co-sponsored by SSE plc and Pennon Group plc.”

 David Haslam concluded: “Large parts of the world are still recovering from a financial crisis and ensuing austerity which – for many – have seen living standards plummet and undermined trust in our economic system. While the tax system can’t solve every problem it helps build more just and sustainable societies, and fosters good human relationships. For people of faith, tax is a way of sharing the enormous wealth created from the earth God has given us. “The conversation about our tax system is not just a matter for tax experts: it is for all of us. Decisions about taxation cut to the heart of our beliefs about the type of society we want to live in and how to live out our faith in the world.”

* Download resources here

* Fair Tax Week 2019 https://fairtaxmark.net/latest-news/fairtaxweek2019/

* Church Action for Tax Justice http://www.catj.org.uk/

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