The UK tax strategy is approved and published by the Board of Directors of the AVSC Europe Group and is intended to comply with Schedule 19 of the UK Finance Act 2016, in relation to the financial year ended 31 December 2018.

Risk Management

The board has overall accountability for the risk management framework, which includes responsibility for the group’s UK tax strategy.

Tax risks are assessed on a case by case basis and makes tax planning decisions based on the risk profile of transactions. Where there is uncertainty in how the relevant tax law should be applied, external advice may be sought to support the group’s decision making process.

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

  • The legal and fiduciary duties of directors and employees
  • The requirements of any related internal policies or procedures
  • The maintenance of the group’s corporate reputation, having particular regard to the way we interact with the communities around us
  • The tax benefits and impact on the group’s reported result compared to the potential financial costs involved, including the risk of penalties and interest
  • The wider consequences of potential disagreement with tax authorities, and any possible impact on relationships with them.

We adopt a low-risk approach to tax and do not engage in artificial tax arrangements. Within the UK we may utilise available tax incentives and reliefs to minimise the tax costs of our business activities. These will be applied in the manner in which intended by HM Revenue and Customs and we will seek external advice if appropriate.

Where we interact with other group companies we aim for transactions to be undertaken at arm’s length. If transactions are cross-border we will look to reduce the risk of double taxation in accordance with the available reliefs offered through the tax treaty network.

Tax Planning

Tax planning is driven by the commercial needs of the business, and anticipated future developments. Where alternative routes are available to achieve the same commercial results, the most tax efficient approach in compliance with all relevant laws will be followed.

The commercial needs of the business will in no circumstances override compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

In cases where the tax guidance is unclear or the group does not feel it has the necessary expert knowledge to assess the tax consequences adequately, external advice may be sought to support the group’s decision making process.

Approach towards dealings with HMRC

The group has an open, honest and transparent relationship with HM Revenue and Customs, and in particular commits to:

  • Adopt open and collaborative professional relationships at all times with HMRC.
  • Engage 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.
  • Interpret the relevant laws in a reasonable way, and ensure transactions are structured consistently with a co-operative relationship.
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