Research by Pwc revealed that during the year each member of the 100 Group supported on average 6,800 UK suppliers, most of which were SMEs. They also invested £9.2bn on R&D, up 7.7% on 2016, and their capital investment expenditure amounted to £26.6bn, up 1.7%.
“With 2.1 million employees in the UK, in this past year we have invested almost £100m every day of the year in a combination of capital expenditure and R&D, essential building blocks to strengthen the UK as we move into the fourth industrial revolution,” said Chris O’Shea, chair of the 100 Group tax committee.
“At a time when it’s important to build public confidence in the tax system, we are very happy to continue to demonstrate our members’ substantial economic contribution to the UK, not just in terms of taxes paid to the Exchequer, but also broader economic and employment benefits.”
Of the total tax contribution the UK’s largest companies paid during the year, £25.3bn was in direct taxes, including business rates, corporation tax, employer’s national insurance contributions (ENIC) and irrecoverable VAT.
This was an increase on 2016 of 6.3%, largely on the back of rises in corporation tax receipts (up 33%) and ENIC (up 4.4%).
The rest – £57.6bn – which was collected by the companies on behalf of government, was slightly down (1.4%) on last year’s figure. These taxes included income tax deducted under PAYE and NICs from employees, as well as general VAT and excise duties
At 30.6%, employment taxes were the largest element of the companies’ total tax contribution during the year. For every £1 of corporation tax the 100 Group paid, they contributed a further £2.91 in other direct taxes. On average, they paid out more than £12,000 per worker.
PwC’s head of tax, Kevin Nicholson warned that certainty over tax policy would be of fundamental importance to the 100 Group going forward. “Ensuring that they are able to continue operating in an environment that allows them to carry on prospering post-Brexit will be paramount,” he said.
Commenting on the findings, Annie Gascoyne, head of economic policy at the CBI, said, “It’s welcome news that the 100 Group is making record tax contributions to the UK economy.
“Recent CBI analysis also shows that, overall, British firms are filing a record tax receipts at 30% of the total UK tax take, demonstrating the importance of having a competitive corporate tax environment.
“With the UK benefiting from the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G20, this is helping to attract and retain business in the UK and deliver more tax revenue.”
She added her voice to Nicholson’s call for continued stability and certainty on tax policy, and called for a transition deal between the UK and the EU to be agreed by the end of the year to avoid a “cliff edge” and to protect jobs and investment.
The PwC research covered data for accounting periods ending in the year to 31 March 2017.