UK Tax Strategy
This document sets out the strategy of the UK members of the Barings LLC group (Barings UK) to risk management and governance arrangements in respect of all types of UK taxation, including corporate and personal taxes and contributions, VAT and transactional taxes.
Ownership of the tax strategy, as with the wider business strategy, rests with the Barings UK Board. This UK tax strategy specifically applies to Barings UK in terms of its own UK tax affairs and also its dealings with its managed funds and clients where UK tax may be involved. Barings UK, as part of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (“MassMutual”), is also required to comply globally with the financial ethical standards that apply to all of MassMutual businesses and accordingly seeks to comply with all global tax and other applicable laws. These standards prescribe that we will conduct business honestly, ethically, with integrity and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and accordingly we do not tolerate tax evasion, nor do we tolerate the facilitation of tax evasion by any person(s) acting on Barings UK’s behalf.
- The Chief Financial Officer, Europe (CFO) is responsible for the tax strategy, the underlying governance structure, and control of tax risk. Day-to-day responsibility for each of these areas sits with the Head of UK Tax, who reports to the CFO.
- The tax strategy aligns to the Barings UK risk and control framework in such a way as to ensure that key risk areas are monitored and material risks minimised. If there is a material issue, matters are escalated to the Head of UK Tax and if necessary, further to the Barings UK Risk and Regulatory Committee. The framework and tax strategy are reviewed annually by the Risk and Regulatory Committee.
Management of tax risk
Undertaking activities as part of a large multi-national organisation, Barings UK is exposed to a variety of risks which could have an impact on UK tax. These can be grouped under the following headings:
- Tax compliance and reporting risks, which cover risks associated with compliance failures such as submission of late or inaccurate returns, the failure to submit claims and elections on time or where finance or operational systems and processes are not sufficiently robust to support tax compliance and reporting requirements.
- Transactional risks, which arise where transactions are carried out or action is taken without appropriate consideration of the potential tax consequences, where procedures or advice received are not correctly implemented, or where the on-going potential tax impact of changes in law or circumstances are not fully taken into account.
- Reputational risk considers the wider impact tax risk may have on our relationships with our stakeholders, including shareholders, clients, tax authorities and the general public.
We look to assess and manage tax risk in a similar way to any area of operational risk across the Group. Business heads will generally take the lead role in identifying, managing and monitoring tax risks within the business. Line management is then supplemented by oversight functions, including Tax UK, Organisational Risk and Internal Audit.
Tax UK is made up of a team of tax professionals based in London. In addition to their oversight role which includes identifying and reviewing tax risks, they provide advice to Barings UK and its managed funds on tax-related issues, undertake or assist with tax filings, manage relationships with tax authorities and assist with various forms of tax and financial reporting.
Tax compliance and relationship with tax authorities
- Barings UK seeks to comply fully with its tax filing, tax reporting and tax payment obligations.
- We look to having open relationships with the tax authorities. We are pleased whenever applicable to discuss significant developments in the business and their potential impact or where there may be an upcoming issue or uncertainty around reporting or making a disclosure to the tax authorities.
- It may be that our view or the view of an adviser may differ from that of HMRC. If this occurs we would be keen for such difference to be discussed constructively and settled as soon as possible.
Tax planning or uncertainty
- Barings UK fully accepts that Barings UK and its managed funds and clients will be required where applicable to pay an appropriate amount of tax. We aim to balance this with our responsibility to our owners, investors in our funds and clients to structure our affairs and where applicable their affairs in an efficient manner. Accordingly we may from time to time take the opportunity to utilise tax incentives or opportunities for obtaining tax efficiencies where appropriate.
- Barings UK will structure remuneration packages for employees and directors in such a way that it reasonably believes that the proper amounts of tax and social security contributions will be paid and suffered on remuneration paid.
- We would not expect to take advantage of any tax planning opportunities if we considered that they would be likely to be contrary to our understanding of the intention of Parliament or anti-abuse legislation, are not in line with this tax strategy or the standards of behaviour considered acceptable within the Barings LLC group or MassMutual or were likely to generate a significant reputational risk.
- External advice may be sought where it is considered appropriate typically where there may be uncertainty or particularly complex issues. Barings UK would not work with any advisers or other parties who proposed any action that was not in line with this tax strategy or the standards of behaviour considered acceptable within the Barings LLC group or MassMutual.
Barings UK considers that the publication of this tax strategy as complying with the duty under paragraph 16(2) of Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016 to publish a tax strategy in the current financial year.