This strategy applies to all taxes relevant to our business in its jurisdictions, including the UK and takes effect from the date of publication until superseded or otherwise replaced.
At Fubon, we aim to manage our tax affairs with diligence in order to implement sustainable development and commit to corporate social responsibility. We do so by applying the following set of tax principles across all our operations and Group entities:
- complying with tax laws, rules, and regulations and disclosure requirements, to report and pay all applicable taxes in a timely manner, fulfilling corporate taxpayers’ social responsibilities. Both the letter and spirit of the laws will be taken into account when performing tax operations.
- complying with all relevant financial reporting disclosure requirements with transparency.
- communicating openly in constructive dialogues with professional attitudes when dealing with local tax authorities.
- any tax planning should be legal and the Group shuld not structure transactions aiming to reduce tax burden as the sole purpose, or not shifting profit to the countries or jurisdictions listed as non-cooperative tax heavens with low tax rate by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and EU commission and shall consider the Group’s business operation, social responsibilities in the relevant countries, reputations, risk management and sustainable development.
- considering tax risks as part of the decision-making process in major transactions entered into.
- supporting all personnel with responsibilities for tax matters to ensure that they have the skills, technical expertise and knowledge to effectively and accurately fulfill their tax role and responsibilities.
- Complying with transfer pricing requirements and arm’s length principles in tax law for related party transactions between different countries and jurisdictions.
Tax Governance and Risk Management
We have tax governance policies and practices in place to identify and manage tax risk across the Group.
The day to day management of tax affairs rests with the Tax function within our Accounting and Tax Division, and supervised by the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and the Tax team is responsible for reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on tax governance matters as appropriate, in order to ensure tax risk is properly managed.
All subsidiaries in its jurisdiction, including the UK, should notify the Accounting and Tax Division in the events of major tax risk.
Where risks are identified the Tax function works with the business to take appropriate action to mitigate any risk identified and where appropriate, engages with tax authorities to disclose and resolve issues, risks and uncertain tax positions.
Tax planning and level of risk
Any tax planning undertaken by the Group must comply with relevant tax laws, rules and regulations and based on commercial and economic reality. We will not structure transactions aimed at reducing our tax burden as the sole purpose, and we will not participate in, or promote, aggressive tax planning arrangements.
We consider tax risks as part of the decision-making process with regard to entering into major transactions.
Given the scale of our business, the broad range of our tax obligations and the complexity of the tax laws that we are required to comply with, we recognize that uncertainty arises in relation to our tax affairs from time to time. We have a low threshold to such uncertainties. Where there is significant uncertainty or complexity in relation to a tax risk, we may seek objective advice and opinions from external advisors. We seek to manage tax risk to avoid unnecessary disputes.
We also recognize that we are subject to operational tax risk. We mitigate such risk by ensuring all personnel with responsibilities for tax have the necessary skills, technical expertise and knowledge to effectively and accurately fulfill their tax responsibilities. In addition, we may engage external experts to provide tax services on matters where we may lack the appropriate level of tax knowledge and experience, to ensure we accurately meet our tax compliance and reporting obligations.
We proactively seek to identify, evaluate, manage and monitor tax risks to ensure our financial exposure is well understood and is within a level that we consider acceptable to us.
Approach to relationship with tax authorities
We engage with tax authorities, including Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the UK, to maintain a professional and constructive relationship through open communication and constructive dialogue. We believe this is the only way when dealing with tax authorities to discuss past, current and future tax risks and to discuss interpretation of the tax law.
We aim to make fair, accurate and timely disclosure in correspondence with tax returns and pay all applicable taxes and seek to respond to any queries raised and information requested from tax authorities, in a timely manner.
(Note1) This strategy is published in accordance with paragraph 19(2) of Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016 of the UK on December 31,2017. Our strategy remains unchanged and also applies for the year ended December 31,2018.
(Note 2) For the Tax Policy of Fubon Financial Holdings, please refer to this link.
(Downloads: Tax policy)