Tax Strategy

Allen Ford, Allen Kia, Essex Ford, Essex Auto Group & SMC are parts of Allen Ford (UK) Ltd, which in turn is part of Super Group S.A. Super Group is a leading transport logistics and mobility group, providing end-to-end supply chain solutions, fleet management and dealership services to a diversified global customer base. Allen Ford (UK) Ltd operates franchised motor dealerships and vehicle leasing in the UK for Super Group."

The Allen Ford Group is firmly established as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of vehicles to private motorists and businesses. Our network of 26 locations stretches across the south of England and as far as the West Midlands. We employ over 1360 people to serve the needs of our customers and in addition to vehicle supply, we also deliver aftersales care via our service centres, body shops and parts departments.

We are proud to represent our respected manufacturing partners, Ford, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Fiat, and Suzuki. We strive to uphold their reputation through our high standards of customer service, focussing on customer service coming first and competitive prices.

Our business vision is to provide end to end dealership services in the UK, in line with Super Group’s vision. The vision for tax is to grow our business tax efficiently and in a sustainable way that delivers value to key stakeholders. Our Tax Strategy is aligned with the overall business strategy and to the Group’s approach to corporate governance.This includes the Group’s Code of Ethics and Business Conduct which states that the Group is committed to high standards of honesty, integrity, behaviour and ethics in dealing with all stakeholders.

Meeting the four key tax objectives below supports the delivery of our vision for tax and wider business objectives.

Approach to tax risk management and governance

We have an established tax risk register as well as an internal control framework which are embedded within the business to support the identification and effective management of tax risks across the UK business.

Our tax strategy is owned by the Board of Directors, with the Finance Director responsible for its delivery through our tax control and governance framework.This facilitates the capturing of key risks, such that they can be mitigated through the operation of effective controls. Our tax risk register is in line with our overall approach to corporate governance.

Board meetings are held on a quarterly basis and any significant tax matters would be reviewed here.Individuals within the finance function with responsibility for tax work closely with the wider business to ensure tax is considered at an appropriate stage for key business decisions and transactions.

To limit risk and ensure diligent compliance, advice is sought from external advisors who are consulted when complex tax matters arise or when significant transactions occur. This dialogue also allows the tax personnel to keep up to date with changes in tax legislation and obtain guidance.

The Tax Strategy and wider Allen Ford Governance Principles are communicated throughout the organisation so everybody is aware of the expectation on them to comply with the standards established in these documents and the Allen Ford Code of Ethics and Business Conduct.

Level of risk we are prepared to accept

Our appetite for tax risk is low and our operations are only structured based on sound commercial and business principles. We strive to minimise risk, submit all UK tax filings in a timely manner, report and pay taxes due and manage all material tax transactions and risks across the UK Group.

Allen Ford acknowledges that the elimination of all tax risk is impractical due to the complexity of tax legislation and differences in interpretation that occur. However, the group is committed to the identification and monitoring of significant tax risks within the UK. Our overall approach to tax risk management and governance is designed to deliver controls and policies that are aligned to our acceptable level of tax risk. The Finance team also support businesses across the UK in delivering the policies, controls and processes that support tax compliance.

Where any tax law is unclear or subject to interpretation, we engage with external tax advisers to ensure we remain compliant in all our operations and ensure appropriate disclosure of corporate information where applicable.

Attitude towards tax planning

We do not enter into any aggressive tax planning arrangements but we will consider the most tax efficient structure for a business transaction as long as it is commercially driven and whilst being mindful of our low appetite for tax risk. We will also always engage with our external tax advisors when any significant transaction is undertaken or in areas of complexity.

Our attitude towards tax planning is aligned to our attitudes as set out in our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. Our Code serves as our guide in conducting ethical business, and provides us with the necessary tools to help us navigate any difficult situations we may encounter and is supplemented by company policies and procedures, as well as applicable laws and regulations.

Approach towards dealing with tax authorities

In line with our Group policy we will engage in open, constructive and transparent communications with HMRC and will focus on ensuring our engagement with HMRC is a high priority.

We will engage with HMRC with high standards of honesty, integrity and ethics in the spirit of co-operative compliance and will proactively correspond with HMRC, including obtaining upfront agreements and/or clearances on uncertain matters, as appropriate.We will also work to answer any queries or resolve any differences in a timely and professional manner, aiming to respond to enquiries by due dates and cooperating fully in our engagement.

Our published tax strategy applies to SG International Holdings Ltd, Allen Ford (UK) Ltd, Bestodeck Ltd, Essex Auto Group, Swale Motors Ltd and Slough Motor Company Ltd, and covers all UK taxes and duties. It complies with our duty under Schedule 19 of the UK Finance Act 2016 in respect of the period ending 30 June 2018.