This strategy is prepared in accordance with the requirements of Paragraph 16(2) Part 2 Schedule 19 Finance Act 2016 in relation to the financial year ended 31 December 2019. It applies to the Symphony Group which includes The Symphony Group plc, Symphony Holdings Limited, Ashes Properties Limited and Park Springs Properties Limited (together the “Group”).
References in this strategy to ‘tax’ are to the taxes and duties set out in paragraph 15(1) Schedule 19 Finance Act 2016 which include Income Tax, Corporation Tax, PAYE, NIC, VAT, Insurance Premium Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax.
The Group is committed to full compliance with all statutory obligations and full disclosure to tax authorities. The Group aims to meet all legal requirements, file all appropriate tax returns and make tax payments accurately and on time.
Governance in relation to tax
Ultimate responsibility for the Group’s tax strategy and compliance lies with the Board of The Symphony Group plc. The Board consider and agree the tax strategy of the Group. Implementation of the tax strategy is led by the Group Finance Director and his team. The Group Finance Director is responsible for checking that the tax processes of the Group, and the systems and data which they rely upon, are efficient and effective in meeting the Group’s tax compliance obligations and are operating as intended.
Management of tax risk
The Group manages risk to comply with legal requirements in a manner which ensures payment of the right amount of tax. The Group 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 relations to all processes which could materially affect its compliance with tax obligations. In relation to any specific issue or transaction, the Board is ultimately responsible for identifying the risks, including tax risks, which need to be addressed and for determining what actions should be taken to manage those risks, having regard to the materiality of the amounts and obligations in question.
The Group’s approach to tax planning is to make use of tax reliefs which are intended to apply to its commercial transactions in a manner which is consistent with the Group’s values and desire to maintain a low-risk sustainable approach to tax. The Group seeks to take advantage of available tax incentives, reliefs and exemptions in line with, and in the spirit of, tax legislation. No tax planning is undertaken without seeking advice from the Group’s incumbent external tax advisors.
Appetite for tax risk
The Group is, from time to time, exposed to a number of tax risks and uncertainties. The Group’s tax strategy is to proactively seek out, identify, evaluate, manage, monitor and mitigate these risks having regard to the specific facts and circumstances of the transaction, the amount of tax involved and the Group’s wider approach to risk management. Where there is significant uncertainty or complexity in relation to a risk, external advice will be sought.
Working with HMRC
The Group has an open, honest and positive working relationship with the tax authorities. Should any dispute arise with regard to interpretation and application of tax law, the Group will address the matter promptly and resolve it in an open and constructive manner.
Graham Smith – Group Finance Director, approved December 2019