This Tax Strategy Statement sets out the management of UK taxes for Asda Group Limited and its subsidiaries (“the Group”). It is made available in accordance with Paragraph 19(2), Schedule 19 of Finance Act 2016 and is in relation to the financial year ending 31 December 2021.
On 16 February 2021, Asda Holdings UK Limited (a subsidiary of Walmart Inc) completed the sale of Asda Group Limited to Bellis Acquisition Company 3 Limited.
The approach of the Group to risk management and governance arrangements in relation to UK taxation
The Asda Group Limited Board (“the Board”) is ultimately responsible for the Group’s tax affairs. The Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) is responsible for communicating and advising on tax affairs and risks to the Board.
Day to day tax matters are delegated to the Head of Tax and Treasury, who manages a professionally qualified tax team. When appropriate, external advice is sought from professional advisers, particularly for complex or uncertain matters, to support the Group’s decision making process.
The Head of Tax and Treasury updates the CFO on a regular basis including in quarterly formal meetings, to ensure that there is an awareness of any risks associated with UK tax affairs.
The Group maintains a tax risk management framework, and a suite of documented tax process controls, to provide assurance to the Board that tax risk is being managed, and to certify compliance, where relevant, for the UK’s Senior Accounting Officer rules.
Asda takes a zero-tolerance approach to the facilitation of tax evasion and is committed to upholding laws relevant to countering tax evasion, including the Criminal Finances Act 2017. The Group has a Prevention of tax evasion policy, periodic risk assessments are undertaken, and there is a working group tasked with the ongoing monitoring of procedures which reports to Asda’s Compliance, Ethics, Risk and Audit Committee.
Attitude towards tax planning, so far as it affects UK taxation
All tax planning is driven by a business or commercial purpose. The Group is committed to acting with integrity and transparency on all tax matters and complying fully with UK tax law, which may involve claiming tax allowances, incentives, or exemptions, to which it is entitled under applicable laws and regulations.
Level of risk in relation to UK taxation that the Group is prepared to accept
Asda assesses risk on a case by case basis in line with the tax risk management framework. The Group’s objective is to comply with legal requirements in a manner which ensures the right amount of tax is paid at the right time, underpinned by an open and co-operative relationship with HMRC.
Approach towards the Group’s dealing with HMRC
The Group’s approach is to comply fully with UK tax law, with full disclosure, and that any areas of uncertainty are discussed with HMRC on a timely basis. The Head of Tax and Treasury, and the tax team, have regular communication with the HMRC Customer Compliance Manager and specialist HMRC teams to promote a professional, collaborative working relationship which is based on principles of transparency and trust.