Awaze UK Tax Strategy

Published: 16 December 2019

Introduction

This document sets out the tax strategy for the UK companies of the Awaze Group, held through PE Compass Holdings II Limited for conducting their tax affairs and dealing with tax risk. It is compliant with the requirements of Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016.

This tax strategy was approved by the Operating Council of the Group and applies from the date of publication until it is superseded.

About us

The Awaze Group is the largest managed vacation rental and holiday resort business in Europe which brings together some of the continent’s most trusted travel brands, including cottages.com, Hoseasons, James Villa Holidays, Landal GreenParks and Novasol. Our market-leading brands offer hundreds of years of combined travel industry experience, as well as an incredible range of properties in some of the world’s most popular destinations.

The Group understands that collecting and paying UK tax is an important contribution to the economy and society in the United Kingdom, and the Group is committed to complying with UK taxation laws. We aim to pay the right amount of tax at the right time, and are committed to having an open and constructive relationship with HM Revenue and Customs (HRMC).

The Group contribute to the UK Government finances through both taxed borne and collected, and we pay a range of taxes including:

Governence

The Operating Council of the Group is responsible for approving the tax strategy, and the Group Audit Committee receives regular updates on tax matters, and monitors the Group’s tax affairs and risks. Where there is tax risk identified on significant commercial transactions, the Senior Leadership Team will review in respect of the acceptable level of risk to the business, but also consistency with the Group’s tax objectives.

The Group’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for establishing, and sustaining appropriate policies, processes and systems, and for ensuring that the Finance Team have the required skills and support to implement that Tax Strategy. The Group’s Tax Director supported by external advisors and expertise from the ultimate controlling party, is responsible for ensuring the day-to-day operation of the tax risk policies. The day-to-day compliance with all tax requirements is the responsibility of the Finance Team headed by the Group CFO.

Attitude toward tax planning

The Group’s UK tax planning aims to support the commercial needs of the business by ensuring that the Group’s affairs are carried out in the most tax efficient manner whilst remaining compliant with all relevant laws. The Group ensures there is a clear understanding of the tax consequences of any decisions made, taking into account the potential impact to its reputation and broader goals.

The Group’s Tax Director is therefore involved in the support of the commercial decision making processes, and provides appropriate input to business proposals of the Group to ensure a clear understanding of the tax consequences of decisions made. Where the Group does not feel it has the necessary expertise internally to assess the tax consequences conclusively, external advice will be sought to support the decision making process.

We do not engage in artificial or aggressive UK tax planning arrangements, with the sole purpose of obtaining a tax advantage. The Group adheres to relevant UK tax laws and seeks to minimise the risk of disputes or uncertainty with tax authorities. The Group conducts transactions between Group companies on an arm’s-length basis and in accordance with OECD principles.

Tax incentives and exemptions are sometimes implemented by governments and fiscal authorities to support investment, employment and economic development. We will apply these tax incentives and exemptions in the UK, in support of the Group’s commercial needs, if available and in the manner intended..

Tax risk management and attitude to tax risk

The Group proactively seeks to identify, evaluate, manage and monitor its UK tax risks, by considering the various tax streams, identifying the key tax risk areas, and ensuring that appropriate controls and processes in place for these areas.

When reviewing the UK tax risks associated with a specific decision or action, the Group ensures that the following are considered:

Where required, the Group will seek external advice to assist it with managing its tax risks.

The Group aims to ensure that the level of tax risk remains at an appropriate level and is in line with our commercial activity. This is achieved by adhering to the following tax objectives in relation to UK taxation:

The Group does not engage in or provide services with the aim of facilitating tax evasion.

Relationship with Tax Authorities

The Group seeks to build and sustain relationships with tax authorities that are constructive and based on mutual respect. We engage with HMRC with honesty, integrity, respect, fairness, and in a spirit of co-operative compliance. The Group is prepared to litigate where it disagrees with a ruling or decision, but will always seek to work collaboratively with HMRC to resolve disputes and come to an agreement and achieve certainty.