Risk management & governance
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 Chief Financial Officer 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 being true, 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 to responsibly manage our tax liabilities in accordance with tax legislation and regulations (such as 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.
We are committed to not engage in aggressive tax planning and will not use tax havens to minimise our tax liabilities. Furthermore, we will not put in place business or tax structures that lack genuine commercial substance and purpose.
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 in line with OECD guidelines and transfer pricing legislation and reflect the commercial nature of the individual transactions.
Acceptable levels of tax risk
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.
Dealings with tax authorities
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.