Why I’m publishing my tax return (despite not being a politician or big tech firm…)

adrian ashton
2 min readNov 16, 2016

There’s been a lot of apparent media interest around how much tax big firms pay, and then, in the wake of the ‘Panama Papers’, how much tax our politicians pay. And I don’t think it’s because as a nation we’re obsessed with accounts and tax schedules, but rather, we want to be assured that we feel we can that the people and firms we’re reliant upon are acting responsibly.

Now, I’ve always been open that I’m very happy to pay tax for all sorts of reasons (and most small business also recognise the importance that our tax makes to supporting local communities and public services), and over the last 3 years have increasing started to wonder aloud if I should be more open and transparent in my own tax affairs as part of my annual social impact report on myself.

Since then, I’ve also ‘taken the pledge’ with Fairtax to always act with integrity and honesty in my tax affairs.

So in light of all of this have decided to tell the world how much tax I pay as part of my impact reporting framework!

Now, some of you may be slightly disappointed when you read the report to see that rather than cite a cash amount, I have instead presented it as a percentage of my turnover. This is because after thinking it through and chatting with others for a few months, I felt this was a better way to be able to benchmark myself against others, and also offer a more consistent measure over time which wouldn’t appear to fluctuate wildly subject to how well I’m able to secure fee-earning work over the year.

But what do people think? Is it a good thing that I’m now sharing my tax affairs with you all; is how I’m measuring/reporting it the right way; does anyone really care? (other than me)…

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