Applegreen plc is a petrol forecourt retailer with operations in the Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom, and the USA. The business employs approximately 4,000 people and operates in over 300 forecourt sites over all regions.
The Applegreen plc group includes a number of UK companies (“Applegreen UK”) and we therefore publish our tax strategy in accordance with measures contained in section 161 and Schedule 19 of Finance Act 2016.
Tax risk management and governance
Applegreen UK does not pursue an aggressive tax strategy and maintains a firm focus on compliance. It is Applegreen UK’s policy to comply with all relevant laws, rules, regulations, reporting and disclosure requirements and to pay the amounts of tax legally due.
The Board of Directors is ultimately responsible for the Applegreen UK’s compliance with relevant tax obligations. Applegreen UK’s approach is to proactively manage its relevant tax obligations by maintaining an effective internal control system.
The Board has emphasised the importance of compliance with all relevant tax obligations to which Applegreen UK is subject. The Board of Directors considers compliance with relevant obligations when approving investments and transactions that are particularly important depending on the particular circumstances.
The Chief Financial Officer (who is also the Senior Accounting Officer for Applegreen UK) is responsible for the management of Applegreen UK’s tax affairs and is supported by the Group Financial Controller and the wider finance department. Corporation Tax, VAT and Payroll compliance are monitored monthly as part of the monthly reporting cycle. The Group’s annual corporation tax returns are also prepared by external advisors. These are reviewed for accuracy and completeness by the Financial Reporting Manager and Group Financial Controller and approved by the CFO before submission to HMRC.
There are mechanisms for the ongoing identification, analysis and management of tax risks and reporting by management to the Board of Directors is performed on an ad hoc basis as the need arises.
In addition to the above, professional advice is sought from Applegreen UK’s tax advisors on any matter where the amount involved is significant and the tax treatment is uncertain.
Tax planning and risks:
Applegreen UK targets an efficient tax structure with the aim of maximising the shareholders return, whilst ensuring compliance with all relevant laws, rules, regulations, reporting and disclosure requirements.
All significant tax decisions are made in collaboration with suitably qualified external tax advisors and are subject to approval by the Board of Directors. Any significant change to our approach would also be subject to approval by the Board of Directors. By doing this, we can maintain the highest level of compliance with tax legislation.
Relationship with HMRC:
Applegreen UK is committed to complying with all of its relevant tax obligations and to maintaining its good standing with HMRC. It is Applegreen UK’s position to file its tax returns and pay its liabilities within the designated deadlines.
Where appropriate and possible we would engage with HMRC on a real time basis in any areas of material uncertainty, so as to minimise our tax risk and to provide greater certainty for both parties in advance of formal tax filings. The objective of this approach is to minimise the risk of disputes and damage to Applegreen’s credibility and ultimately the Applegreen brand.