Huntswood Tax Strategy

 

Introduction

This document, approved by the Board of Huntswood CTC Ltd, sets out Huntswood’s policy and approach to conducting its tax affairs and dealing with tax risk for the year ending 30th September 2016, and is made available to all Huntswood’s stakeholders. The document will be periodically reviewed, and any amendments will be approved by the Board of Directors.

1. Aim

Huntswood is committed to full compliance with all statutory obligations and full disclosure to tax authorities and conducts its tax affairs consistent with the following objectives, to:

  • Comply with all relevant laws, rules, regulations, and reporting and disclosure requirements, wherever we operate
  • Ensure the tax strategy is at all times consistent with Huntswood’s overall strategy, its approach to risk, and Huntswood’s Core Values
  • Apply professional diligence and care in the management of all risks associated with tax matters, and ensure that our tax governance is appropriate
  • Maintain an open and honest relationship with the tax authorities based on collaboration and integrity
  • Use incentives and reliefs to minimise the tax costs of conducting its business activities, but will not use them for purposes which are knowingly contradictory to the intent of the legislation.

2. Risk Management

Responsibility and accountability for the Huntswood’s tax affairs is clearly defined in accordance with a Tax Responsibility Matrix, where processes relating to different taxes are allocated to appropriate process owners, who carry out a review of activities and processes to identify key risks and mitigating controls in place. These key risks are monitored for business and legislative changes which may impact them and changes to processes or controls are made when required.

Diligent professional care and judgement will be employed to assess tax risks in order to arrive at well-reasoned conclusions on how the risks should be managed. Where there is uncertainty in how the relevant tax law should be applied, appropriate written advice evidencing the facts, risks and conclusions may be taken from third party advisers to support the decision-making process.

When reviewing the tax risks associated with a specific decision or action, Huntswood ensures that the following are considered:

  • the legal and fiduciary duties of directors and employees
  • the requirements of any related internal policies or procedures
  • the maintenance of Huntswood’s corporate reputation, having particular regard to the principles embodied in the Huntswood’s Social Responsibility Core Value (CSR) and the way we interact with communities around us.
  • the wider consequences of potential disagreement with tax authorities, and any possible impact on relationships with them.

3. Tax Planning and level of risk

Huntswood manages risks to ensure compliance with legal requirements in a manner which ensures payment of the right amount of tax.

Huntswood is committed to observing all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and reporting and disclosure requirements, wherever there is a requirement to do so as a result of our business presence and transactions.

Importantly, the key tax process owners will collaborate with the business to provide advice and guidance necessary to ensure compliance. In cases where the tax guidance is unclear or Huntswood does not feel it has the necessary expert knowledge to assess the tax consequences adequately, external advice will be sought to support the decision-making process.

There are clear management responsibilities, backed up by regular monitoring and review, carried out by the key tax process owners. All process owners have the necessary skills and experience to deal with their area of tax and appropriate training is carried out to ensure up to date compliance. All internal tax policies / processes are documented and are reviewed on an annual basis.

4. Relationship with HMRC

Huntswood is committed to the principles of openness and transparency in its approach to dealing with tax authorities.

All dealings with the tax authorities and other relevant bodies will be conducted in a collaborative, courteous and timely manner. In particular, Hunstwood commits to:

  • adopting an open and collaborative professional relationships at all times with HMRC;
  • engaging in full, open and early dialogue with HMRC to discuss tax planning, strategy, risks and significant transactions;
  • make fair, accurate and timely disclosure in correspondence and returns, and respond to queries and information requests in a timely fashion;
  • seek to resolve issues with HMRC in real time and before returns are filed if possible, and where disagreements arise, work with HMRC to resolve issues by agreement (where possible);
  • be open and transparent about decision-making, governance and tax planning;
  • reasonably believe that transactions are structured to give a tax result which is not inconsistent with the economic consequences (unless specific legislation anticipates that result), nor contrary to the intentions of Parliament; and
  • interpret the relevant laws in a reasonable way, and ensure transactions are structured consistently with a co-operative relationship.