PageGroup is and always has been about people. We employ many people and we help many more develop their careers. Every day we change lives within the communities we operate in around the world. We believe that how we deal with our tax affairs is an important element of our approach to corporate social responsibility. We gladly accept that we pay taxes to the governments where we do business and where our people live and work.
The PageGroup tax strategy, put simply, is as follows:
- Maximise value for all stakeholders by both planning appropriately according to the needs of our business strategy and complying with relevant tax laws whilst avoiding unnecessary tax leakage and risk;
- Demonstrate compliance with both the spirit and letter of relevant tax laws; and
- Communicate appropriate information regarding our tax affairs clearly to all stakeholders.
Implementation of our tax strategy requires the following:
Proper identification and recognition of stakeholders
The commercial needs of the Group are central to the continued success of our business which benefits our clients, candidates, employees, investors and the governments of the countries that host our business and to which we and our employees pay taxes. In addressing those commercial needs, due consideration is given to safeguarding the Group’s reputation and good standing and also to our wider social responsibilities. The Group’s tax affairs are conducted in that context.
Alignment of tax strategy with the business and avoiding complexity
Our business is not overly complex and we therefore avoid complexity in our tax affairs. We ensure that transactions reflect reality and the results of those transactions are aligned with where value is created within the Group. Our tax agenda is driven by the business, not the other way around.
Openness - transparency and disclosure
We aim to produce financial statements and tax returns which provide meaningful information that is clear and unambiguous. We make our positions clear and avoid anything that we would not be happy disclosing to tax administrations.
We have open conversations with tax administrations and feel able to do so because our approach to tax does not leave us exposed. We expect to be challenged by tax administrations from time to time and will meet those challenges in a reasonable but robust manner and with confidence in our preparation.
Where mistakes occur, we will disclose and correct them at the earliest opportunity.
We aim to continue developing our tax related disclosures in the PageGroup plc Annual Report and Accounts and strive to be regarded as an example of best practice.
Our international transactions are clearly documented in such a way that they are transparent and understood readily by the tax administrations with which we interact.
Acting within the spirit and letter of relevant tax laws
We believe that it is usually clear what a law is seeking to achieve and we shall interpret relevant tax laws accordingly. Where it is less clear or wholly unclear, we will seek out quality advice as to the most appropriate interpretation.
We conduct our business in an honest and ethical manner and do not tolerate facilitation of tax evasion, whether under UK law or under the law of any foreign country. We comply with laws to counter tax evasion, including the Criminal Finances Act 2017.
Knowing our limits
Tax laws, regulations and practices around the world are changing constantly. In managing our tax affairs we embrace outside assistance and technology so that we are not unduly reliant on internal resources; we select quality advisers to be our local eyes and ears and use technology both to acquire tax knowledge and also for tax reporting.
Tax control framework
Our governance and controls environment includes measures and tools to ensure that we are able to identify operational and financial reporting, as well as compliance tax risk across the various taxes paid by our businesses and our employees around the world. This enables us to determine what level of tax risk is acceptable to management and our stakeholders, manage that tax risk and deal with tax risk outcomes should they arise.
The tax strategy is supported by a tax policy and roadmap that is updated regularly to ensure that the people, processes and technology deployed to manage our tax affairs remain fit for purpose.