Introduction and scope

This document, approved by the Board, sets out the tax strategy for ScS Group plc and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) for the financial period ending 27 July 2019. The Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is one of the UK’s leading furniture and flooring retailers.

The tax strategy covers all corporate income taxes, indirect taxes, and employment taxes and covers the Group’s strategic approach to tax, tax planning, and the Group’s approach to dealing with the tax authorities.

Tax approach and risk

Ultimate responsibility for the Group’s tax strategy and compliance rests with the Board of Directors of the Group. The Board is committed to high standards of corporate governance, and this extends to the Group’s approach to tax.

The Group is therefore committed to:

  • Paying the right amount of tax in a timely manner;
  • Complying with all tax legislation and reporting requirements;
  • Taking a low risk approach towards the tolerance of tax risk;
  • Not engaging in aggressive tax planning or making use of tax avoidance schemes;
  • Maintaining an open and transparent relationship with HMRC.

The CFO is delegated as the Board member directly responsible for tax matters, and acts as the Group’s Senior Accounting Officer (SAO). The Group also makes use of professional advisors to provide oversight and an independent view on tax compliance in all areas.

The Group has a straightforward corporate structure, operates solely in the UK, and the nature of the Group’s operations is not complex. The Group’s risk register is regularly reviewed and updated by the senior management team, Board and Audit Committee, and as at the date of this document, no relevant tax risks have been identified in the risk register.

The Group does not have specified levels of acceptable tax risk, but risks for transactions are reviewed and assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Group has a low tax risk appetite.

Tax Planning

The Group consistently aims to comply with the spirit as well as the letter of the law, ensuring the appropriate amount of tax is paid at all times. The Group has a requirement to operate commercially, in the best interests of its shareholders, and therefore ensures that relevant tax considerations are made and available tax incentives and allowances are utilised, however in no circumstances would this override compliance with applicable laws and regulation. Appropriate tax advice is sought around specific transactions.

In line with the Groups tax strategy, the Group does not engage in aggressive tax planning strategies, and no transactions or arrangements of the Group are conducted solely for the purpose of avoiding or reducing the amount of tax payable.

Working with HMRC

The Group seeks to maintain a transparent and constructive relationship with HMRC with the aim of co-operative compliance. The Group relationship with HMRC is managed by the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) and HMRC Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) and the business aims to minimise the tax risk rating of the Group.

Any inadvertent errors in submissions made to HMRC would be fully disclosed as soon as reasonably practicable, and the Group are committed to working collaboratively with HMRC to resolve any disputes or enquires in a timely manner to achieve early agreement and certainty.

The Group has published this Strategy to meet its statutory obligation under the provisions of Schedule 19 to the 2016 Finance Act.

Date: 16 September 2019