WPP's Sorrell: tax is 'a question of judgement'

The chief executive of WPP has fanned the flames of the corporation tax debate, suggesting that firms are 'doing good' whatever they choose to pay.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

There’s always a chief exec piping up somewhere to say something controversial. This time it’s advertising group WPP’s boss, Martin Sorrell.

This morning he told BBC Radio 4 that the amount of corporation tax paid by firms is basically ‘a question of judgement’, and that the sums they pay are determined more by their sense of corporate social responsibility than the force of the law.

He said: ‘If companies choose to make a contribution to all their stakeholders, all credit to them.’ He also added that ‘doing good is good business,’ and that companies trying to establish long-term brands would try to avoid doing things ‘that will upset customers’.

WPP’s tax affairs have been the subject of scrutiny in the past, as Sorrell moved the firm’s tax domicile and HQ to Dublin under the Labour government, in a protest against it’s plans to introduce much greater taxation of company profits.

He has now moved the HQ back to London. 

Sorrell was the Most Admired Leader in MT’s Britain’s Most Admired Companies awards 2012. Click here to get the lowdown.

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