Tax policy 2021

Our published UK Tax Strategy satisfies Schedule 19(2) and 22(2) of Finance Act 2016, in respect of our financial years ending 31 December 2020 and 1 February 2021.

1. Our vision for tax

  • Selfridges always aims to be tax compliant and our tax policy reflects and supports our business.  Our vision and purpose is to reinvent retail and imagine and create a sustainable future for our customers, underpinned by responsible policies and practices that uphold our business values and therefore define and inform our behaviours.
  • All taxes and charges are paid according to local laws and regulations, and as a good corporate citizen we see tax as an important part of our social responsibility and sustainable future for our customers.
  • Our vision and purpose is enabled by the effective operation of our internal functions, in this case our tax function, in a way that is consistent with our values. To achieve this, we focus on implementing strategic tax objectives as follows.
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2. Our tax strategy objectives

2.1 Work as one to comply with all applicable statutory tax obligations

  • Compliance with local laws ensures required standards are met and that we live our values to help keep people and planet safe; and to ensure we act fairly with integrity.
  • Having adequate and appropriate corporate and tax governance measures in place helps us ensure that there is alignment between our vision, purpose and strategy to create long-term sustainable value; that we drive a culture which showcases our values.
  • We operate a risk averse, proactive approach to tax management through the operation of robust systems, policies and procedures. This approach is approved by the Board and considered at Board level at regular intervals.
  • We identify tax risks through our governance processes and through discussions with internal audit, external auditors, external tax advisors and HMRC. These are formally documented as part of our Senior Accounting Officer Obligations.
  • Key controls are implemented to ensure the timely collection and remittance of all forms of tax revenues including VAT, income taxes, payroll taxes and customs duties.  Controls are actively monitored to ensure risk mitigation to acceptable levels, and for design and operating effectiveness.
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2.2 We undertake responsible tax planning, and respect our world by contributing fairly to the economic environment in which we operate  

  • Paying tax responsibly is part of running a business with integrity. This forms part of our code of ethics and underpins our sustainability commitments and ambitions.
  • We are committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and recognise our social responsibility to make a fair economic contribution and give back to the communities we operate in with respect to the law.
  • We seek to be tax efficient and maximize tax reliefs as part of the ordinary course of business but will not enter into tax arrangements that lack commercial substance. In doing this we look  to partner with those who align with our values and can help create a sustainable future for retail which benefits people and planet.
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2.3 Maintain a collaborative and transparent relationship with our external stakeholders, including tax authorities 

  • Building trust is a key value that underpins our vision and purpose. We are transparent, both in how we communicate with each other and in how we communicate with the world. Openness is the foundation of an ethical and inclusive community and it fosters a self-aware culture that is always learning from itself.
  • We adopt a transparent approach to working with HMRC by maintaining regular contact. We have been awarded a low risk rating by HMRC and our objective is to maintain this.
  • Where appropriate we openly seek HMRC’s agreement before proceeding and avoid situations where a potential dispute or conflict may arise.
  • We work to advocate for positive change for our industry, to help us drive towards our vision of reinventing retail. In this regard we contribute to public discussions affecting our industry on tax and business law, such as HM Treasury tax policy consultations.
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2.4 Inspire our people to innovate and create solutions to complex problems

  • We want a culture in which our values are alive, and everyone is proud to work for or with us. This includes understanding and demonstrating the behaviours expected and representing the company in a respectful way.
  • This means that we lead by example and role model our values, consulting where decisions are required outside of our area of expertise.
  • Ongoing communication and close collaboration are key, and tax personnel are imbedded within the wider business. This creates more efficient access to relevant information and increases awareness of when to involve those with responsibilities for tax on commercial transactions and projects.
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