Swietelsky AG

UK Tax Strategy

Group Tax Strategy in Summary

The Swietelsky Group was founded in 1936 and is one of the largest construction industry groups in Austria with over a workforce of around 9,500 employees operations across Europe. We enjoy the reputation of being an innovative, efficient and reliable construction business and the prosperity of the business in the long-term is a key philosophy within the group.

Swietelsky Group, as a multinational group, operates in a complex environment with fast evolving and frequently changing tax legislation and interpretation of that legislation. We are committed to ensuring that we can continue to meet the primary objectives of our UK Tax Strategy in this environment.

Our Group Tax Strategy is based around the following key objectives:

  • Tax follows business;
  • We strive to have an open and collaborative dialogue with HMRC;
  • We strive for the best possible tax process and controls to help us achieve our objectives with regard to tax compliance;
  • We are mindful of our reputation.

This Tax Strategy is published in accordance with the duty under section 161 and paragraph 19 (2) of Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016 for the Group to publish a UK Tax Strategy for the year ending 31 March 2019. It has been approved by the Board of Directors of Swietelsky Baugesellschaft m.b.H., Edlbacherstraße 10, 4020 Linz, Austria.

Tax Risk Management and Governance

Responsibility for tax matters on a day-to-day basis in the UK lies with the Finance Manager who is supported by a UK Finance Team. We review tax risks and controls in order to reduce tax risks to a minimum, whilst recognising that the complete elimination of tax risk is impractical. Due to our risk management framework, we aim to detect risks early and mitigation controls are used to reduce negative impacts. As a business we have a low risk appetite in respect of taxation and our systems and controls support this. 

The Finance Manger will escalate any identified tax risks to the UK directors as appropriate as well as the Group’s Finance Director. The Group Tax Department communicates with all business units to detect tax risks and there is monitoring in place for all tax risks.

The business will ensure that, where relevant, a second opinion is sought from legal and/or tax advisors and we have skilled tax staff members who evaluate the tax risks arising from legislative change.

Tax planning

At Swietelsky, our approach to tax planning is to ensure that it is aligned with the commercial objectives of the business. Any tax planning that we undertake needs to be consistent with our Code of Conduct. Within the context of our commercial approach, we will utilise any appropriate reliefs available to us to the benefit of our business and shareholders. For example, R&D tax reliefs.  In such instances we will work with our tax advisors and be transparent in our approach with HMRC.

In respect of transfer pricing, we aim to agree prices at arm’s length so that tax base is calculated in best manner for each country we are doing business. In all aspects of tax planning, if our interpretation of tax law is different to those of the Tax Authorities, we work with the Tax Authorities and our tax advisors to resolve any differences.

Tax compliance and reporting

At Swietelsky, we have implemented a Code of Conduct across the business to ensure that we maintain our good reputation as a reliable, competent and law-abiding partner. One of the key principles of this Code is that we see taxes as a social responsibility. As an organization, we are committed to our obligation to making our tax contribution and ensuring that we adhere to relevant tax and fiscal laws.

This applies to our approach to tax compliance and reporting in the UK. We ensure that we have the right people to carry out our tax compliance processes and use third party advisors where appropriate.  We seek to make all tax declarations within the required time limits and pay tax debts when due.

Working with HMRC

We strive to have an open and collaborative dialogue with our stakeholders, including HMRC with whom we have regular dialogue regarding taxation in our business.

In line with our Code of Conduct, we aim to work with HMRC to ensure that we are meeting all of our taxation obligations and will take advice from third parties where any matters of uncertainty arise. If any tax risks are identified, either historical or anticipated, we believe that transparent communication with HMRC is essential to resolving these.