Based on an understanding of the needs of our stakeholders and in line with our values the Board has established the following fundamental principles for the management of taxes, and this strategy applies to St. Modwen Properties PLC and all UK entities in the Group.
• Compliance - We comply with tax law and practice in the territories in which we operate, which is principally the UK. Compliance for us means paying the right amount of tax in the right place at the right time and involves disclosing all relevant facts and circumstances to the tax authorities and claiming the normal tax reliefs and incentives for our line of business where they are available.
• Planning - In structuring our commercial activities we will consider, inter alia, the tax laws within which we operate with a view to maximising value on a sustainable basis for our shareholders. Any tax planning undertaken will have commercial and economic substance and will have regard to the potential impact on our reputation and broader goals. We will not undertake planning that is contrived or artificial.
• Tax risk management - Given the scale of our business and volume of tax obligations, tax risks will inevitably arise from time to time in relation to the interpretation of tax law and nature of our compliance arrangements. In line with the Group’s risk management approach, we proactively seek to identify, evaluate, manage and monitor these risks to ensure they remain in line with the Group’s low risk appetite for tax. Where there is significant uncertainty or complexity in relation to a risk, external advice may be sought and an appropriately conservative provisioning approach is taken.
• Tax authority relationships - We engage with tax authorities, including HMRC, with honesty, integrity, respect and fairness and in a spirt of co-operative compliance. We are prepared to litigate where we disagree with a ruling or decision of a tax authority but will first seek to resolve any disputed matters through pro-active and transparent discussion and negotiation.
This published UK tax strategy, which is aligned with the Group’s ethics and is approved, owned and overseen by the Board, satisfies Schedule 19 of the UK Finance Act 2016, in respect of our financial year ending 30 November 2017.