Spectris manages its tax affairs in accordance with the following objectives:
- Ensuring compliance with all relevant tax law in all jurisdictions in which the Group operates.
- Supporting the business in achieving its strategic objectives, whilst managing the associated tax costs in a manner that is consistent with the Group’s attitude to commercial risk.
- Seeking to maintain a sustainable and predictable P&L and cash tax rate.
- Ensuring that all communication with tax authorities is conducted in a professional and transparent manner.
The tax strategy supports the Group’s strategic objectives and applies equally to UK and to non-UK taxes and to all forms of tax including corporate income and indirect taxes as well as taxes associated with employees.
The Spectris tax strategy is reviewed on an annual basis by the Audit and Risk Committee, who receive regular updates on tax matters from the Group Finance Director and the Spectris Group Tax department.
Spectris operates a formal tax governance framework together with a set of clear tax policies and accountabilities. Together these determine the level of sign off required for transactions or operational developments which could create material tax risk. Adherence to these policies is monitored through both self-assessment and regular risk reviews.
We recognise that the field of taxation is complex and constantly evolving and we actively monitor local and international developments and participate in consultation on future tax law change where we believe that it is in the Group’s best interests to do so.
In line with our core value of Absolute Integrity, Spectris is committed to maintaining effective procedures for the prevention of the facilitation of tax evasion by any party who acts for or on behalf of the Group, in accordance with applicable law.
We seek actively to manage our UK and international tax liabilities (for example by making use of tax incentives for research and development and the utilisation of intellectual property) where the Group considers that such an approach is consistent with the Spectris values and reflects the commercial operations of the business.
From time to time Spectris may establish entities in certain jurisdictions in order to hold and finance the Group’s overseas investments, giving consideration to our business activities and to the legal and economic environment in each territory.
We are committed to ensuring that all transfers of goods and services between companies in the Group are conducted on an arm’s length basis and reflect the commercial nature of the individual transactions.
Spectris recognises that tax laws are complex and may be subject to different interpretation. As a consequence, tax positions may be reviewed and challenged by revenue authorities from time to time. We seek to mitigate this risk by taking appropriate professional advice and by fostering good working relationships with tax authorities.
The Group does not employ a formulaic prescription of acceptable tax risk but considers various factors including reputational, financial and operational risks, as well as any potential impact on our relationship with any tax authorities, when determining its approach to tax matters.
In our approach to dealing with tax authorities (including HMRC):
- We act in a professional and courteous manner at all times;
- We seek an open and transparent relationship based on trust;
- We aim to respond to all enquiries in a timely fashion; and
- We seek to resolve any disagreements amicably by discussion wherever possible.
Where there is material risk or uncertainty and the relevant tax authorities offer the possibility of early engagement then we will engage in dialogue on a real-time or pre-filing basis where it is practical to do so. In the UK we will engage in such discussions with HMRC where we believe that this is consistent with the Framework on Co-Operative Compliance.
Spectris plc regards publication of this document as satisfying its duty to comply with Paragraph 16(2), Schedule 19 of the UK Finance Act 2016 in respect of the year ending 31 December 2018.