Tax strategy

The statement below, by Hastings Group (the “Group”, “we”/”our”), comprising Hastings Group (Consolidated) Limited, the ultimate UK parent entity, and its subsidiaries, sets out the Group’s tax strategy and explains the Group’s tax arrangements. It satisfies the Group’s obligations in accordance with para 16(2) of Schedule 19 of UK Finance Act 2016 and relates to the financial year ended 31 December 2023.

Our aim is to adopt a principled and sustainable tax strategy that underpins the Group’s desire to balance the various interests of all its stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, governments, regulators, colleagues, and wider community interests.

The Group seeks to ensure that it complies with all legal requirements, both in the UK and in all other jurisdictions where it operates, by making all appropriate returns and payments in respect of its own tax liabilities and by collecting taxes on behalf of the relevant tax authorities in accordance with prescribed rules and deadlines.

Risk management

The Group ensures that it maintains an effective risk management framework, which includes a set of risk management policies used to identify, measure, manage, monitor, and report all risks across the Group, including tax risks. The key tax risks are assessed and documented in line with the risk management framework and appropriate conrols are put in place to mitigate the key tax risks identified from this process. The primary responsibility for tax risk management rests with the Group Board, which has delegated management to the Chief Financial Officer, who is supported by the Group Tax function and other senior finance colleagues across the Group. In addition, key tax processes are periodically subject to third line assurance reviews by the internal audit function.

Tax planning and level of risk

Where the Group enters into business transactions, the tax consequences will be determined and communicated to relevant colleagues in the business to enable informed decisions to be made. The Group only enters into transactions that are commercially driven and will not undertake any tax planning that is inconsistent with either the letter or spirit of tax legislation.

We proactively monitor changes to relevant tax legislation and practice as it affects the Group and its activities. We continually seek to identify, evaluate, manage, and monitor risks that arise in respect of the interpretation of tax legislation and compliance arrangements to ensure they remain in line with the Group’s low risk appetite. The Group uses external advisors to supplement its in-house expertise where appropriate.

Relationship with tax authorities

The Group aims to have an open and constructive relationship with HMRC in the UK and other tax authorities in the jurisdictions where it operates, whilst seeking to enhance returns and create shareholder value by appropriately managing the Group’s tax affairs and claiming reliefs where available and appropriate. Should there be a dispute with any tax authority, the Group would seek to resolve the matter through proactive and transparent discussions.

This strategy is approved, owned, and overseen by the Board of directors of Hastings Group Holdings Limited, via which all Group governance oversight is conducted.