Tax Strategy

Year ended 25th November 2018

This paper sets out the tax strategy of McColl’s Retail Group plc and its UK subsidiary undertakings (the “Group”), and in making this strategy available the Group is fulfilling its responsibilities under Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016.

Tax risk management and governance arrangements

The Board understands that compliance with tax regulations is a key responsibility. The Board is responsible for setting and monitoring the strategy. It is the responsibility of the Chief Financial Officer to appraise the Board of key tax events. This allows all Board members to be adequately engaged in the tax affairs of the business and thereby ensure the Group is adhering to its responsibilities. The senior finance team of the Group are accountable for the implementation of the tax strategy and the management of tax and related risk.

The Board reviews the Groups risk profile and determines principle risks facing the Group. Tax risk is considered as part of this review.

The Group engages with external advisors to provide technical expertise whenever necessary, and to ensure all tax returns are accurate.

Level of risk in relation to UK taxation that the Group is prepared to accept

The Group is only prepared to accept a low level of tax risk given the low level of complexity to the corporate structure and the domestic nature of the Group's operations.

Tax risk is assessed on a case-by-case basis as part of the Group's decision making process in relation to its commercial activity.

Tax planning

The Group is a responsible taxpayer, does not undertake aggressive tax planning and ensures that tax outcomes reflect the underlying economic substance of the transactions the business enters into. All transactions are commercially driven rather than designed to deliver a particular tax outcome.

The Group is committed to:

  1. Submission of all UK tax returns on a timely basis, including sufficient detail to enable HMRC to form an accurate view of the affairs of the company, filing the return with an adequate supporting audit trail and sign-off process;
  2. Paying the appropriate amount of tax at the right time;
  3. Maintaining tax accounting arrangements which are robust and accurate and comply with the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) provisions in the UK;
  4. Ensuring all tax filing positions are supported with appropriate documentary evidence.

 Dealings with HMRC

The Group is committed to building constructive working relationships with tax authorities based on a policy of full disclosure in order to reduce uncertainty in its business transactions. The Group actively works with the authorities to review possible risks.

 The Group achieves this through:

  1. Regular meetings with HMRC to discuss current business initiatives and the associated tax accounting;
  2. Where appropriate, seeking pre-transaction clearances from HMRC;
  3. Making the tax compliance procedures and controls available for review by HMRC upon request;
  4. Being open and transparent about decision-making, governance and tax planning.

Download a copy (pdf) here.