Our Tax Strategy (JUNE 2019)

Management and Governance

Merz manages taxes in a way which is:

• Transparent;
• Aligned with the business strategy; and
• Justifiable to the tax authorities who oversee the particular transaction(s).

Through the Tax and Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board, the Board has a line of sight on tax compliance risk and tax planning.

Tax is generally managed on the level of each entity. Guidelines are issued by the headquartered group tax department regarding tax matters with cross border relevance. Both, the local tax function and the group tax department are fully integrated into the business operations. The local tax function reports to the board of the company. Extra support in compliance and technical issues is provided by external advisors as well as by the group tax department as and when required.

Attitude to Tax Planning

Tax planning is limited to structuring the Group’s affairs in a manner that is wholly consistent with both the letter and spirit of the law, the resultant outcome being one that reflects the commercial and economic reality of the Group’s activities.

Level of Risk

As part of any business decisions, taxation outcomes are considered as one of many relevant factors. Subsequent to the business decision the most efficient tax treatment will be applied that is consistent with both the letter and spirit of the law.

Merz applies a cautious and prudent approach with regard to the level of tax risk, if a business transaction presents any tax uncertainty.

Interaction with HMRC

Merz is open with HMRC. It raises significant compliance issues, uncertainties and/or irregularities with HMRC.