UK TAX STRATEGY
Year ended 31 December 2019
This document sets out the tax strategy for the Bureau Veritas Group in the UK for the year ended 31 December 2019 as required under Schedule 19 of Finance Act 2016. The Bureau Veritas Group is a multinational group with its headquarters in Paris, France.
This document covers all UK companies and UK branches within the Bureau Veritas Group and has been approved by the boards of:
- Bureau Veritas UK Holdings Limited;
- Bureau Veritas Certification UK Limited;
- Bureau Veritas Commodity Services Limited;
- Matthews-Daniel Limited;
- TMC (Marine Consultants) Limited;
- Maritime Assurance & Consulting Limited;
- Unicar GB Limited; and
- UCM (Global) Limited.
Our business activities generate a substantial amount and variety of taxes around the world in the countries in which we operate. Specifically, in the UK, we pay corporate income taxes, employment taxes, business rates and stamp duties. In addition we collect and pay employee taxes as well as indirect taxes such as VAT.
Bureau Veritas is committed to conducting its UK tax affairs consistent with the following objectives:
- Comply with all applicable tax laws and regulations;
- Manage tax risks by ensuring appropriate controls and governance procedures are in place;
- Maintain an open, honest and collaborative relationship with HMRC; and
- Use incentives and reliefs to support investment, employment and economic development for purposes which are knowingly in accordance with the intent of the legislation.
Bureau Veritas operates a system of tax risk assessment and controls as a component of the company’s overall internal control framework.
Bureau Veritas faces inherent risk due to its size, complexity, international operations and growth strategy. The organisation seeks to reduce the level of tax risk arising from its operations as far as is reasonably practicable by ensuring that reasonable care is applied in relation to all processes which could materially affect its compliance with its tax obligations.
As part of our internal control framework, we identify key risks and put in place appropriate controls. The key risks are periodically monitored and changes to processes or controls are made when required.
Overall responsibility for the tax risk management of Bureau Veritas in the UK sits with the board of each UK sub-group. Support is provided by a UK Tax Director.
We support the commercial needs of the business, specifically ensuring that the group’s activities are carried out in a tax efficient manner while remaining in adherence to tax laws and reflecting commercial reality.
Transactions between Bureau Veritas group companies are carries out on an arm’s length basis in accordance with prevailing OECD principles.
The UK Group does not accept a high level of tax risk and/or uncertainty and so will seek external tax advice before proceeding with a transaction where such risks or uncertainties exist. Advice may be sought from a third party advisor or, where appropriate, from HMRC through informal discussions or a formal clearance procedure.
External tax advice is only sought when the tax implications of a given business transaction are uncertain, either because the tax law/guidance is unclear or the Group does not have sufficient technical knowledge in that area.
APPROACH TO DEALINGS WITH HMRC
Bureau Veritas’ approach to dealings with HMRC is aligned with the draft Framework for Cooperative Compliance published by HMRC on 9 December 2015. Specifically, Bureau Veritas seeks to:
- Have an open, transparent and trusted relationship with HMRC;
- Engage in open and early dialogue with HMRC to discuss tax planning, strategy, risks and significant transactions;
- Resolve issues in real-time and before returns are filed where possible;
- Make fair, accurate and timely disclosure in tax returns, reports and documents that the business files with, or submits to, HMRC;
- Where disagreements over tax arise, proactively work together to seek to resolve all issues by agreement (where possible) and reach reasonable solutions;
- Be open and transparent with regards to decision making, governance and tax planning;
- Structure transactions that give a tax result which is not contrary to the intentions of Parliament; and
- Interpret the relevant tax laws in a reasonable way.