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Shaw Trust Tax Strategy

Year end Aug 2019

In compliance with section 161 and section 19 (2) of Schedule 19 Finance Act 2016, this publication sets out the tax strategy of The Shaw Trust Group, which includes Shaw Trust Limited as the ultimate parent company and all its subsidiaries for year ended 31 August 2019.

Our tax strategy was approved by the Group’s Chief Finance Officer (who reports to the Group Chief Executive Officer the Board of Trustees) on the 26/09/2019. The responsibility for implementing this strategy rests with our Tax and Treasury Manager, who reports to the to the Chief Financial Officer on a regular and on an ad hoc basis.

The Shaw Trust Group is committed to comply with all the applicable tax laws and practices, whilst upholding its duty to all of its stakeholders to ensure that it makes the very best use of its financial resources for the furtherance of its charitable activities. It also has a duty to the Charity Commission to demonstrate that the charity’s affairs are managed efficiently and effectively.

The Shaw Trust Group is committed to:

  • Responsible, transparent and active management of our tax affairs.
  • Maintaining an open and honest relationship with the tax authorities.
  • Ensuring that the below tax strategy is consistent with the group’s overall strategy.
  • Applying a duty of care in our management of our tax risks, and ensuring that our tax governance is appropriate.
  • Timely and accurate tax compliance. At The Shaw Trust Group compliance means paying the right amount of taxes, in the right place, at the right time and involves disclosing all relevant facts and circumstances to the tax authorities
  • Playing an active role in contributing to the UK charity tax policy-making process, including working with the Charity Tax Group.
  • As a leading national charity where ever possible we consult with and provide informal support to a range of other charities to promote best practice in relation to tax matters
 

Governance 

At Shaw Trust we seek to comply with all relevant tax laws, rules, regulations and reporting and disclosure requirements, wherever we operate.

Overall responsibility for tax governance and tax risk sits with the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO) who sits upon our Group Executive Board. It is the Group CFO to takes the responsibility of the Group’s Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) requirements. In the absence of a permanent CFO the Group Finance Director will deputise these duties.

Operational responsibility for tax compliance, risk management and general tax matters falls to the Tax and Treasury Manager.

Employment tax matters are dealt with by the Group’s payroll department with guidance from the tax and treasury manager as and when required.

The Tax and Treasury Manager periodically meets with our external advisers and attend technical updates, so that any potential developments in the business and changes in the external tax environment that could have an impact on tax risk are identified and can be shared with those responsible.
 

Appetite for Risk 

The Shaw Trust Group has a low appetite for tax risk. It does not participate in aggressive planning or complex structured arrangement designed to minimise its tax liabilities. We do take advantage of all relevant tax reliefs and incentives that are available; whilst doing so at all times we show respect for the intention of the relief as well as the letter of the law.
 

Risk Management 

Tax risks for the group are assessed on a case by case basis and are tracked on the group’s tax risk register; this allows the group to arrive at well-reasoned conclusions on how each individual risk should be managed. Where there is uncertainty on how the relevant law should be applied, external advice may be sought to support the group’s decision making process.

Diligent professional care and judgement is taken when assessing the Group’s tax risks. In undertaking this review the group will consider:

  • The tax benefit and impact on the Group’s reported results compared to the resource and financial cost involved, including the risk of penalties and interest
  • The wider consequence of potential disagreements with HMRC, including any possible impact on future relationship.
  • The Trust will  not enter into any transaction where the main purpose is to gain a tax advantage
  • Any potential reputational damage that could result from the transaction
  • Engaging external advisors from reputable firms with regards to particularly complex tax issues where the necessary knowledge and expertise is not held in house.
 

Tax Planning 

The group participates in minimal tax planning, and only when the commercial needs of the business require it. In these situations the Group CFO, FD or Tax and Treasury Manager is involved in decision making and provides appropriate input into the business proposals to ensure a clear understanding of the tax consequences of any decisions made.

In cases where the tax guidance is unclear or the group does not feel it has the necessary expert knowledge to assess the tax consequences adequately, external advice may be sought to support the Group’s decision making process.    
 

Approach to dealings with HMRC

We actively seek an open dialogue with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), in pursuit of a professional and constructive working relationship.

We never deliberately conceal or knowingly misrepresent issues to HMRC. If we discover errors, we disclose them without delay.

All matters with HMRC will be addressed through timely, compliant and transparent discussions, we will ensure that we do not expose the group to any reputational damage or hinder our working relationship with relevant tax authorise including HMRC.

At present the group does not have a dedicated Customer Relationship Manager with HMRC.
 
Produced by: Hannah Loftus – Group Tax and Treasury Manager
Approved by: Mike Fegan – Interim CFO