Liberty Global plc is the world’s largest international TV and broadband company with operations in more than 30 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. We invest in the infrastructure that empowers our customers to make the most of the digital revolution.
Our scale and commitment to innovation enables us to develop market leading products delivered through next generation networks that connect our 25 million customers who subscribe to over 51 million television, broadband internet and telephony services1
We also serve over 10 million mobile subscribers and offer WiFi across ten million access points. To support our operations we employ 41 thousand individuals worldwide. Our tax profile is influenced by the dynamic industry in which the group operates, with significant network capital expenditure required before a return on investment is realised.
Our overall tax objective is to comply with all applicable tax laws and regulations, to file all of our tax returns on time and to pay the right amount of tax when due in each of the territories where we do business. At the same time, Liberty Global aims to maximise shareholder value through an optimised tax position.
The taxes we pay are substantial and varied, and include corporate income tax, employment taxes, stamp duties, and industry specific taxes. We also collect significant amounts of indirect taxes and employment taxes on behalf of the tax authorities.
We are committed to conducting our business with integrity and to the highest standards of corporate governance. Our Code of Conduct, which applies to all of our employees, directors, and officers governs our approach in relation to accounting, reporting, taxation and disclosure matters.
1 as of 30 June 2017
Our Global Head of Tax is responsible for defining and delivering our overall tax objective across the group.
In accordance with the group’s governance procedures, relevant tax matters are reviewed and approved by the Chief Financial Officer and, as applicable, escalated to the Chief Executive Officer. Under the group’s governance guidelines, certain relevant tax matters are reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.
The group’s approach to tax is underpinned by a tax framework of processes and controls. Our Board of Directors and Audit Committee are apprised of our objectives, processes, controls, and significant tax risks.
Tax Risk Management
We identify, communicate and manage tax risks through a tax framework of processes and controls that are applicable to all companies in the group. Our tax framework defines responsibilities in relation to tax matters, including how tax returns are prepared, how tax risks and tax uncertainties are identified and communicated to the senior leadership team and how tax decisions are taken.
Our Global Head of Tax manages our identified tax risks and regularly reports on such matters to the Chief Executive Officer, The Chief Financial Officer and the Audit Committee.
Another important element of the group’s approach to tax governance and risk management is to ensure that we have the appropriate skills and tax knowledge within the group and that we seek external tax and legal advice when needed.
We undertake planning to optimise our tax position in alignment with the commercial objectives of the business.
When undertaking tax planning, we comply with all relevant tax laws and regulations. We carefully consider the tax analysis and risks involved and we ensure that any tax planning is approved through our governance procedures.
Where necessary, we seek advice from external tax and legal advisors, in particular where significant amounts of tax are involved and where the application of tax laws and regulations are complex or unclear. Where appropriate, we seek clearances and rulings from the relevant tax authorities.
We will apply to take benefit of tax incentives introduced by governments to stimulate investment where we meet the necessary business and economic requirements.
When companies within our group sell or provide goods or services to each other, these transactions take place on arm’s length terms in accordance with OECD guidelines.
Relationships with Tax Authorities
We aim to have open and transparent relationships with all relevant tax authorities and to engage in regular proactive discussions with tax authorities in our operating territories. We work collaboratively with tax authorities, particularly where areas of uncertainty are identified, with the aim of agreeing matters quickly and efficiently. Our objective to work collaboratively is also evidenced by our willingness to take part in cooperative compliance initiatives, such as, Horizontal Monitoring in the Netherlands and the Compliance Assurance Process in the US.
This statement was approved on 13 December 2017 and is published to comply with the requirements of Finance Act 2016, Schedule 19.