This document sets out the Group’s approach to risk management and governance arrangements in relation to UK taxation. This document has been published to comply with Schedule 19 of Finance Act 2016.
It has been approved by the Board of Directors of Pets at Home Group Plc and is effective for its accounting period commencing on 27 March 2020. This strategy will be re-approved and republished at least annually.
As a responsible retailer, the Pets at Home Group takes its tax compliance responsibilities seriously and places a high value on its relationship with HMRC.
The Group recognises that the taxes paid directly to and collected on behalf of HMRC are of a material nature for UK Treasury purposes and the Group seeks to ensure the integrity of all reported tax numbers and to ensure compliance with all our tax obligations. Accordingly, the Group endeavours to comply with all relevant tax legislation, regulations and obligations regarding the filing of tax returns and payment of taxes.
Risk Management and Governance
The Group assesses its tax risks, like other business risks, based on the likelihood of occurrence and scale of the impact.
The Group seeks to manage these risks by implementing appropriate controls to mitigate the risk to an acceptable level.
If a tax risk exists due to a specific uncertainty or complexity, external advice will be sought from professional advisors. We see this as a valuable source of specific tax expertise to supplement the skills of our own finance team as appropriate.
The Chief Financial Officer has responsibility for tax at Board level and tax is regularly discussed at the Audit Committee. The Group’s tax policy, which is approved by the Board, drives the Group’s behaviour in regard to taxation and tax risk.
The day to day management of taxes is the responsibility of the wider finance team. This team includes tax professionals with recognised professional qualifications and we continue to invest in their training and development. We operate under defined processes and controls in order to manage tax risks on a day to day basis.
Attitude to Tax Risk
In accordance with the Group tax policy, the acceptable tax risk level within the Group is considered to be low and we have low tolerance towards tax risk. Tax is one of the factors we consider when making commercial business decisions, but the tax consequences follow the commercial transactions.
The Group recognises that, on behalf of the shareholders, it is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that taxes are managed correctly, efficiently and effectively to ensure that the proper amount of tax is paid. It is considered a mandated requirement on the Group to ensure it pays the appropriate amount of tax utilising any reliefs and incentives that are available to the Group.
When considering the structure of transactions, the Group evaluates the options based on commercial rationale, simplicity and reputational risk in terms of both fairness and morality.
External advice is sought to support the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Tax and provide technical advice to the Group.
Any tax planning arrangements require Board approval.
The Group aims to maintain an effective, collaborative and co-operative relationship with HMRC.
HMRC are kept up to date with business changes so any tax implications can be discussed on a real-time basis and agreement can be sought from HMRC. If any uncertainty around the application of new or amended tax legislation exists, these matters are discussed with HMRC in a timely manner.
The Group is committed to resolving any outstanding matters with HMRC in a timely fashion.