TAX STRATEGY FOR THE ACCOUNTING PERIOD ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2019
In accordance with the requirements of Schedule 19 Finance Act 2016, we have published the below tax strategy in respect of Diesel (London) Limited (“the Company”) for the accounting period 31 December 2019. This document is publicly available on the Company’s website, was originally published on December 21st 2017 and updated at 26 December 2019. This document provides commentary in respect of: 1) the Company’s approach to risk management and governance arrangements in relation to UK taxation; 2) the attitude of the Company towards tax planning (so far as affecting UK taxation); 3) the level of risk in relation to UK taxation that the Company is prepared to accept; and 4) the approach of the Company towards its dealings with HMRC. The Company will only enter into transactions which would be fully justifiable should they become a matter of public record. If there is any question as to the tax treatment of a transaction the Company will obtain relevant professional advice and/or confirmation from the relevant tax authorities before proceeding. The Company is committed to ensuring that it fulfils its social and moral obligations by operating within the requirements of relevant tax legislation.
1. APPROACH TO TAX RISK MANAGEMENT
Management of tax risk
The Company has a policy of managing tax risk to ensure that the Company does not expose itself to significant uncertainties in respect of tax policy. This is achieved by: • Ensuring a level of review and assigning responsibilities such that full consideration of the tax implications is taken into account before entering into transactions; • Avoiding entering into transactions where there is significant uncertainty over the tax treatment or where the tax treatment may be seen as controversial; • Ensuring appropriate professional advice is sought over significant tax matters; and Ensuring that special transactions are deeply scrutinized from a tax standpoint in order to make sure they are considered in light of domestic rules, including where relevant in relation to UK tax law. Key roles/responsibilities The overall financial operations of the Company are overseen by the tax department of OTB SpA (the ultimate parent entity of the group of which the Company is a member (“the Group”)) with the support of the Finance Director of the Company.
Systems and controls
The overriding tax principles of the Company are to ensure: • That the Company (and the Group) complies with all of its tax obligations ensuring compliance with tax law and avoiding unnecessary disputes with tax authorities. • That where alternative routes exist to achieve the same commercial results the tax efficiency and viability of each route is considered to ensure that operations are conducted in an efficient manner. If there is significant uncertainty as to the tax risk of any transaction then relevant professional advice will be sought by the Company and (if applicable) the matter will be discussed with HM Revenue & Customs.
Governance and board oversight
The Company’s governance arrangements ensure that a review process is in place to manage tax risk. All matters which are deemed to have a significant UK tax risk are reviewed by the Finance Director of the Company and the Corporate Tax Director of OTB SpA who will conclude whether it is appropriate for the decision to be ratified by the Board of Directors of the Company.
3. ATTITUDE TOWARDS TAX PLANNING
Code of conduct
Details of the code of ethics which applies to the Company can be found on the OTB SpA website. The principles which underpin the code of ethics are required to be upheld by the employees and other stakeholders of the Company and apply equally in respect of matters of UK taxation as they do to any other situation. The Company (and the Group) is committed to ensuring that all business operations are conducted ethically under the following key principles: 1) To act with integrity and consistency in respect of all transactions; 2) To act honesty and in accordance with all laws and regulations in respect of all transactions; 3) To provide protection and respect of each individual with which the Company engages; 4) To respect human rights; and 5) To protect the environment.
Use External Advice
The Company makes use of the services of external professional advisors in respect of taxation matters. It is the Company’s policy to consult with external advisors where the Company or any other member of the Group enters into transactions where the UK tax implications are material to the Company or the Group.
Tax planning motives
The commercial requirements of the Company are of utmost importance to any planning, whether tax or otherwise, undertaken by the Company. Any and all tax planning undertaken by the Company during the accounting period has been undertaken primarily with a view to furthering the commercial success of the Company’s business. The Company’s tax planning strategy is always to act within the law. Where possible the Company will seek to maximize efficiency through available reliefs. The Company does not consider itself to be involved in any aggressive tax planning and does not seek to enter into transactions where the primary motive is to obtain a tax advantage.
4. RISK REVIEW
The Company considers that it is prepared to accept a low level of risk in respect of UK taxation matters. The tax policies of the Group in the UK are monitored by the Finance Director and the Corporate Tax Director of OTB SpA to ensure that tax risk is minimized and professional advice is sought where it is considered that there is an unacceptable level of risk. Due consideration is given to the Company’s reputation, brand and corporate identity, along with its social responsibilities, when considering taxation. It is the Company’s policy to avoid entering into any tax planning which could result in negative publicity or damage the corporate reputation of the Company or the Group.
5. APPROACH TO DEALINGS WITH HMRC
How to work with HMRC
One of the Company’s main tax principles is to develop well established relationships with HMRC through active co-operation and consultation. The Company seeks to achieve this by entering into honest and transparent correspondence with HMRC on tax matters and by co-operating with HMRC at all times. The directors of the Company consider that the Company has a productive and sustainable relationship with HMRC. .
Dealing with risk
The Company’s attitude to tax risk is set out above. Where the Company is considering entering into transactions where there is potentially a high level of tax risk, it is the Company’s policy to ensure that this risk is reduced to an acceptable level before proceeding. Should it become apparent that a previous transaction has resulted in a high level of tax risk or potential tax uncertainty then it is the Company’s policy to seek professional advice and, if this does not provide satisfactory assurance, bring the matter to HMRC’s attention.
Dealing with tax events
The Company considers a transaction to constitute a tax event if, as a result of the transaction, there is a potentially material impact on the Company’s tax liabilities. Where such an event is likely to occur it is the Company’s policy to obtain professional advice.
Interpreting the law
United Kingdom tax legislation can be complex and therefore it is possible that differences of opinion and uncertainty over the interpretation of tax law may arise in certain scenarios. It is the Company’s policy to refer to both professional guidance and guidance from HMRC where there is uncertainty over interpretation to ensure that it has robustly considered the risk of misinterpretation of the law before entering into a transaction.
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