Let's talk about tax

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Tax credit Church Action Againt TaxAs a new tax year begins on 6 April, URC members are being invited to explore the role of tax in building a just and sustainable society.

A new resource for study and discussion, ‘Tax for the Common Good’, has been published by Church Action for Tax Justice (CATJ), which is supported by the United Reformed Church (URC). The ecumenical organisation, launched in 2018, wants to see a fairer and more effective tax system where everyone pays their share.

The Revd David Haslam, a Methodist minister and Chair of CATJ, said: ‘Tax is often talked about in the negative – at best a burden to be minimized. But Christians should love tax; it expresses gratitude, sharing and justice which are the absolute heart of the Gospel. 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.’

Simeon Mitchell, the URC’s Secretary for Church and Society, added: ’Tax matters, but we don’t talk about it enough. This valuable resource opens up lots of important moral questions about the role that tax can and should play in society. It offers a vision of a fair tax system and ideas about how to move towards it, in this country and globally. I hope it will enable churches to start a discussion about tax, and also strengthen our resolve to work for tax justice.’

Church Action for Tax Justice is also encouraging churches to mark 7 July as Tax Justice Sunday, as part of Fair Tax Week which runs from 6-14 July. Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Responsible Tax said: ’The APPG on Responsible Tax is delighted to support Fair Tax Week and Tax Justice Sunday, together with the call for business to say what they pay in each and every country in which they operate. We hope to see Fair Tax Week and Tax Justice Sunday become an established part of the calendar, just like Fairtrade Fortnight and Living Wage Week, where organisations that do the right thing when it comes to tax are not only recognised but celebrated.’

Download Tax for the Common Good here, or for a free printed copy email church.society@urc.org.uk or telephone 020 7916 8632.

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