Tax Strategy: Almac Approach
In accordance with Para 16(2) Schedule 19 Finance Act 2016 this represents the Group’s tax strategy in effect for the year ended 30 September 2023.
The Almac Group is a group of companies operating in the highly regulated and risk-averse pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. We adopt this same low risk strategy in our approach to our tax affairs and tax strategy. We work hard to balance interests for all of our stakeholders, including our wider society stakeholders, and also to maintain consumer trust; a part of this includes ensuring we pay the right amount of tax at the right time, and always follow the letter and spirit of the applicable tax legislation.
This strategy has been approved by the Almac Group Board and will be reviewed annually.
Tax Risk Management and Governance
In operating our tax risk management and governance processes, Almac Group has a low appetite towards tax risk. We are committed to full compliance with our tax obligations, paying the right amount of tax at the right time. We seek to ensure that our tax arrangements remain consistent with a low risk assessment, both in financial and reputational terms.
The Group’s policy is to comply with all relevant laws, rules, regulations, reporting and disclosure requirements and to pay the amounts of tax legally due. Tax matters are proactively managed by having a clear internal governance framework, together with business controls and processes. The Group Executive Director of Finance (who is also the Senior Accounting Officer) is responsible for management of the Group’s tax affairs, with support from the Board, whose approval is sought for corporate transactions considered material or complex. He is further supported by an experienced Group Tax Manager as well as the Financial Controllers within each business. To allow for enhanced risk management due to Almac’s growth, the Group Tax Manager has continued to expand the in-house tax team. The tax team members are qualified tax professionals, and the Group supports them in continued training to ensure compliance with recent tax legislation and technical developments. Professional advice is obtained from suitably qualified external advisors where the tax treatment of specific items is uncertain.
The daily operation of the Group’s tax affairs to ensure compliance is overseen by the Group Tax Manager. The Group’s annual Corporation Tax returns are prepared by external advisors and reviewed for accuracy and completeness by the Group Executive Director of Finance and the Group Tax Manager before submission to HMRC.
Tax Planning and Tax Risk
Almac makes tax decisions which support, and are consistent with, the Group’s overall strategy to maximise after-tax returns for reinvestment into the business.
The Group takes into account tax costs and risks before key business decisions are implemented. Almac may use relevant incentives and reliefs to minimise the tax costs of its business activities. Almac Group aims to comply with all relevant tax laws. The Group does not engage in aggressive tax planning schemes, nor does it participate in artificial transactions which are not commercially driven, or for which the main purpose would be to achieve a tax advantage.
Relationship with HMRC
Almac Group is committed to acting with integrity at all times and engages with HMRC openly and constructively. We feel this is the best way to ensure that we pay the appropriate amount of tax on time and to maintain a good working relationship. Where appropriate we endeavor to engage with HMRC as soon as possible 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.