Westfalia Fruit is part of a multinational group of companies. The UK tax strategy is aligned with the risk management processes and strategy of the Hans Merensky Group, which is to ensure that the Group remains compliant with the relevant and applicable tax laws in each jurisdiction in which it operates. The submission of tax filings and remittance of tax liabilities on a timely basis forms a key part of this strategy.
This document sets out the UK tax strategy for Westfalia Fruit International Limited and it’s subsidiaries registered in the United Kingdom for the December 2019 tax year end.
In accordance with Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016, this document sets out the UK Tax Strategy for the year ended 31 December 2019, specifically:
The approach of the UK group to risk management and governance arrangements in relation to UK taxation.
The attitude of the group towards tax planning (so far as affecting UK taxation) and the level of risk in relation to UK taxation that the group is prepared to accept.
The approach of the UK group towards its dealings with HMRC.
References to UK taxation are to the taxes and duties set out in paragraph 15(1) of Schedule 19 which includes Income Tax, Corporation Tax, PAYE, NIC, VAT and Stamp Duty Land Tax.
- Management of tax risk
The Group’s overall purpose is “To do good “which includes being compliant with local laws and legislations. The Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Group Financial Manager – Shared Services (GFMSS) are responsible for the tax affairs of the group.
The day to day responsibility for tax risk in UK is managed by the local CFO and Finance Managers.
The CFO and GFMSS are regularly updated on tax matters by the local Financial Managers. Through this open and regular communication, the importance of tax compliance and managing and minimising tax risk for the UK group is highlighted.
The GFMSS also has regular communications with the tax departments located in other jurisdictions, to ensure that any potential cross border risks which may arise are monitored and minimised. The GFMSS has defined policies and controls which form the basis of the UK tax strategy and ensure that it remains compliant with the relevant UK tax legislation.
The tax risk is managed by:
- Employment of sufficiently qualified and trained staff
- Implementing processes and procedures to ensure the transactions are captured correctly in the financial system
- Implement financial systems that are compliant with local tax requirements
- Implementing processes to comply with tax deadlines
- Monitoring changes in legislation and the effects it would have on the business
- Identify and discuss significant tax transactions with Group Financial Manager – Shared Services
- Making use of external taxation service providers where required
- Implementing processes in place to remit tax payments in a timely manner
- Being proactive, transparent and maintaining good relationships with when dealing with the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department (“HMRC”)
- Tax planning
Tax initiatives are implemented once the group’s values, reputation, corporate and social responsibilities have been considered. All tax transactions will only be implemented if the in line with the commercial and business requirements of each company.
As a multinational group, consideration is given to international tax guidelines.
- Appetite for risk
Westfalia Fruit UK’s appetite for risk is low. Understanding the business operations is the key objective in order to manage tax risk. This allows the UK Financial Managers to review and analyse the required compliance and tax reporting matters as all tax transactions are considered together with the business and commercial purpose of the transaction.
- Relationship with the HMRC
Westfalia Fruit UK has an open and positive relationship with HMRC which is maintained through regular communication by making appropriate disclosure of all related tax issues through submission of tax returns and in responding to information requests in a timely manner.
All dealings with the HMRC will result in any non-compliance to be rectified in a co-operative and timely manner.