Watkin Jones plc Tax Strategy
Watkin Jones plc is a leading UK developer and constructor of multi occupancy residential property assets, with a focus on the student accommodation and build to rent sectors.
This strategy applies to Watkin Jones plc and to the group of companies headed by Watkin Jones plc (together "Group" or "Watkin Jones") in accordance with Schedule 19 to the Finance Act 2016.
The strategy has been published in accordance with paragraph 16(4) of the Schedule.
This strategy applies from the date of publication until it is superseded. References to 'UK Taxation' are to the taxes and duties set out in paragraph 15(1) of the Schedule and include Income Tax, Corporation Tax, PAYE (including the Construction Industry Scheme), NIC, VAT, Insurance Premium Tax, and Stamp Duty Land Tax. References to 'tax', 'taxes' or 'taxation' are to UK taxation.
Watkin Jones adopts a transparent and low risk approach in respect of its tax strategy. The Group is committed to full compliance with all statutory obligations and full disclosure to the relevant tax authorities.
Governance in relation to UK taxation
- Ultimate responsibility for the Group's tax strategy and compliance rests with the Board of Watkin Jones plc;
- Executive management of the Group is delegated by the Board to the Chief Finance Officer ("CFO") and Chief Executive Officer ("CEO");
- The Audit Committee's requirement to monitor the integrity of the Group's financial reporting system, internal controls and risk management framework, includes those elements relating to taxation;
- The CFO is the Board member with executive and day to day responsibility for tax matters;
- The Group's Finance team manages the Group's tax operationally and is staffed with appropriately qualified individuals;
- Advice is sought from the Group's professional advisors on tax matters as required;
- The Group's tax strategy is one of the factors considered in all investments and significant business decisions taken;
- The CFO reports to the Audit Committee and the Board on the Group's tax affairs and risks during the year.
- Watkin Jones operates a system of tax risk assessment and controls as a component of the overall internal control framework applicable to the Group's financial reporting system;
- The Group seeks to ensure that reasonable care is applied in relation to all processes which could materially affect its compliance with its tax obligations and takes professional advice as appropriate to ensure that the tax consequences of significant transactions are fully understood;
- Processes relating to different taxes are allocated to appropriate process owners
- The Finance team monitors legislative changes which may impact the Group and changes to processes or controls are made when required;
- Appropriate training is carried out for staff outside the Finance team who manage or process matters which have tax implications.
Attitude towards tax planning and level of risk
Watkin Jones applies its open and honest business ethos and focus on compliance to its tax position. The Group manages tax risks to ensure payment of the right amount of tax at the right time.
Watkin Jones does not undertake tax planning that is unrelated to commercial transactions, however when entering into business transactions the Group seeks to take advantage of available tax incentives, reliefs and exemptions in line with, and in the spirit of, tax legislation. The Group also seeks professional advice in this area as necessary.
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 considers that it has a low-risk appetite in relation to tax matters.
Relationship with HMRC
Watkin Jones seeks to have a transparent and constructive relationship with HMRC through meetings and communication as appropriate, in respect of the Group’s tax matters.
When submitting tax computations and returns to HMRC, Watkin Jones discloses all relevant facts and identifies any transactions or issues where it considers that there is potential for the tax treatment to be uncertain.
Any inadvertent errors in submissions made to HMRC are fully disclosed as soon as reasonably practicable after they are identified.
30 September 2022