The Co-op first obtained the Fair Tax Mark during 2015 and we are delighted to have been re-accredited in 2016. We are proud to continue to meet the high standard set by the Fair Tax Mark. The Fair Tax Mark is a natural fit for the way we approach our tax affairs by putting our values, principles and purpose into action. Find out more about the Fair Tax Mark.
The Co-op’s purpose is to champion ‘a better way of doing business for you and your communities’. As such, we believe it is important to pay our fair share of tax, and our primary objective from a tax perspective is to be compliant with all tax legislation requirements. This includes making timely and accurate returns which reflects the Co-op’s legal obligations to Government whilst, at the same time, ensuring we utilise our entitlement to any applicable legislative concessions and reliefs.
The Co-op will seek to legitimately manage its total tax liability within the framework of legislative reliefs but we do not take an aggressive stance in its interpretation of tax legislation. Our policy is to operate within both the letter and spirit of the law at all times, therefore we do not use artificial tax avoidance schemes or tax havens to reduce the Co-op’s tax liabilities.
Central to its Tax Policy is the maintenance and development of a strong working relationship with HMRC and other Treasury departments based on trust and cooperation.
The Co-op wishes to be transparent with both HMRC and the public about how its tax affairs are managed as we believe in open and honest communication.
- The Co-op believes that we should pay tax in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations at the right time.
- The Co-op does not and will not use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes.
- The Co-op will always set out to be open and honest in all dealings with tax authorities.
- The Co-op does not set a target effective tax rate and does not seek to manipulate its effective tax rate. Instead, the effective tax rate will be the result of commercial facts arising in any given year.
- The Co-op will seek to claim the proper statutory reliefs to which it is legally and legitimately entitled.
- We are committed to clearly explaining our tax numbers in our annual report, and going beyond what it merely required by accounting standards so that all stakeholders may better understand our tax profile. In support of this transparency we provide a full list of our subsidiaries.
- The Co-op recognises that tax is a complex subject and that sometimes help will be needed to evaluate our business decisions in relation to tax. As such, the Co-op employs an in-house tax team to assess such decisions on a day to day basis. On occasion, external support from tax advisers may also be sought.
Responsibility for all tax reporting and adherence to the Tax Policy sits with the managers of our Tax Department who report to the CFO, Ian Ellis, who is ultimately responsible for the tax affairs of the Co-op and involves;
- Liaison with HMRC and any other relevant tax authorities.
- Communication of policy to relevant internal stakeholders
- Calculating all tax charges in accordance with group accounting policy.
- Providing timely, complete and accurate returns to HMRC
- Responding to ad hoc tax reporting requests in a timely manner.
Our Fair Tax Mark approved tax disclosures can be found in our annual report.