Effective: 1 January 2016
Business Strategy and Tax Strategy Vision
AWIN Ltd is part of the Axel Springer Group (“Axel Springer”), whose parent company is Axel Springer SE. Axel Springer pursues a strategy of profitable growth, with the overarching goal of becoming the leading digital publisher. Sound, transparent corporate governance is considered to be a crucial element of responsible management, geared to increasing the company’s value on a sustainable basis. As a publically listed company, Axel Springer are committed to efficiency and transparency. Our core values of creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and integrity are embedded in everything we do, and we do not restrict our self-image to economic success alone.
Axel Springer’s UK business activities incur a variety of taxes, including corporate income taxes, business rates and employer’s national insurance. We also collect and pay employment taxes and indirect taxes such as VAT. This tax strategy covers all UK taxes.
Axel Springer’s overall vision for tax is to deliver value to key stakeholders in a sustainable and compliant way and to grow our business, tax efficiently, and with integrity.
Tax strategy objectives
Axel Springer manage tax by focusing on the below objectives.
Approach to tax risk management and governance
Our tax strategy is owned by the Axel Springer Tax Department and the Senior Accounting Officer of AWIN Ltd is responsible for its delivery.
Axel Springer aim for our tax affairs to be compliant with UK tax legislation and the directors across all UK companies in the UK are committed to the delivery of tax compliance.
We have an established business-wide risk management process which is embedded within the organisation to support the identification and effective management of risks across the business, including tax.
Axel Springer is actively reviewing and updating its tax reporting, tax risk management and governance processes, including how tax risk is identified, assessed and mitigated. Our UK-specific tax risk management framework, which facilitates the capturing of key UK tax risks such that they can be mitigated through the operation of effective controls, is also undergoing current review.
The Senior Accounting Officer of AWIN Ltd is accountable in ensuring all tax filings are made in a timely manner, compliant with UK tax law and that any required tax payments are made on time. All individuals with a tax responsibility are suitably qualified to understand tax issues and keep up to date on tax through training and updates from tax advisors.
The Axel Springer Tax Department reviews all material corporate transactions and external advisors are consulted as necessary when faced with uncertainty, significant transactions or when specialist tax input is required to properly assess and manage significant tax-related risks.
Level of tax risk that we are prepared to accept
Our appetite for tax risk is low and operations are only structured based on sound commercial and business principles
Axel Springer is committed to the identification and monitoring of relevant tax risks within the UK. Axel Springer acknowledges that the elimination of all tax risk is not practical due to differences in interpretation and the complexity of tax legislation, however Axel Springer is committed to the identification and monitoring of relevant tax risks within the UK. This is achieved through our developing tax risk management and governance framework which covers tax risk identification, assessment and mitigation to acceptable levels and escalation to the AWIN Ltd board where necessary. Controls to reduce or avoid tax risks are monitored as part of this process.
Attitude towards tax planning
Our attitude to tax risk and tax planning is carefully aligned to the strategic and commercial objectives of AWIN Ltd and we do not enter into any aggressive tax planning arrangements.
We aim to comply with all applicable UK laws and regulations, however we will consider the most tax efficient way to undertake business transactions to deliver value to our stakeholders where appropriate. Advantages of available tax reliefs, incentives and exemptions, include available tax deductions on capital investments. These are only taken if aligned with commercial and economic activity, are not opposed to the spirit of the law, and are offered to all taxpayers by the UK government.
We will strive to be tax efficient as we grow our business. Our tax activities shall not compromise our ethical principles as detailed in our Code of Conduct (http://www.axelspringer.de/en/artikel/Code-of-Conduct_26610027.html) or cause damage to the reputation of Axel Springer.
Approach towards dealing with tax authorities
We are committed to openness and transparency in all our dealings with HMRC, and seek a proactive relationship with HMRC, encouraging open dialogue on a timely basis. Where any tax law is unclear or subject to interpretation, we will engage with external tax advisers to ensure we remain compliant in all our operations. Where applicable we will work with HMRC to attempt to resolve any differences in a timely and professional manner.
Our published tax strategy satisfies Schedule 19 of the UK Finance Act 2016.