Tax principles

Introduction

Taxation is an important issue for us and our stakeholders, including our shareholders, governments, customers, suppliers, employees and the broader, global communities in which we operate.

These tax principles apply to all taxes in all countries. Furthermore, these principles apply to all individuals involved in managing or directing RELX Group’s tax affairs.

We present our strategy to, and receive approval from, our Audit Committees each year.

RELX Group’s Boards receive, through their respective Audit Committees, regular updates on material tax issues, tax disputes, effective tax rates and any changes to the tax strategy. In addition, updates are also provided to the Boards by the Chief Financial Officer.

Statement of Principles

  • RELX Group actively engages with policymakers, tax administrators, industry bodies and international institutions. In addition, we participate in consultations with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], European bodies and the United Nations.
  • We maintain professional working relationships with taxing authorities around the world:
    • We are open and transparent about our tax affairs and significant transactions;
    • We work co-operatively to resolve issues in a positive and professional manner;
    • We support the approach of the OECD Framework for formal co-operative compliance regimes.
  • We respect the rights of governments to determine their own tax regimes, rates of tax and collection mechanisms and do not use our commercial bargaining power in any given country or region to obtain company-specific tax advantages that are not available to all market participants, or which are otherwise not properly legislated.
  • We aim to ensure compliance with all laws and relevant regulations in the countries in which we operate, and make full and timely disclosures in tax returns, reports, and documents submitted to taxing authorities.
  • Cross-border transactions undertaken between Group subsidiaries are taxed on an ‘arm’s-length’ basis in accordance with the principles endorsed by the OECD and the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.
  • We prepare and maintain all documentation required by law, as well as any where necessary to provide support for a transaction with a tax impact.
  • We comply with all current tax transparency requirements, and support international efforts to provide meaningful insight to stakeholders by publishing information in addition to the minima required by existing law and accounting standards.
  • In making commercial decisions we take tax into account in the same way as any other cost. Where there is more than one way of structuring a commercial business arrangement we will take a holistic view, considering all factors including tax. We may implement an alternative with a lower tax cost, provided it is compliant with the laws and relevant regulations in the jurisdictions concerned and on the basis that we will make full and timely disclosures to the affected jurisdictions.
  • We will not enter into tax planning, transactions or structures that are notifiable to tax authorities under mandatory disclosure regimes, which we consider to be abusive, or which otherwise have no ultimate commercial business purpose.
  • The tax affairs of the RELX Group are managed by a team of suitably qualified tax professionals, supported where appropriate by external advisors. Training is provided to staff to ensure that tax compliance is carried out with a suitable level of diligence and technical expertise.
  • We use standard processes and procedures to assess tax risk before a significant transaction is undertaken and to monitor the position until final resolution. In considering tax risk associated with such a transaction we assess:
    • If it is aligned to these Tax Principles;
    • Internal and/or external advice from suitably qualified advisors;
    • Whether the tax treatment applied is more likely than not to be sustained on examination by tax authorities.
  • Training is provided to relevant staff to ensure that tax risk assessment processes are followed appropriately, and mechanisms are in place to allow staff to raise concerns around application of these principles in general or to specific transactions. Our in-house Audit & Risk Management team periodically review these processes and procedures to ensure that they remain sufficient and appropriate.