Tax Strategy (December 2022)
ZPG Limited (“ZPG”) which, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates leading household brands such as Zoopla, Uswitch and Confused.com, seeks to apply the spirit as well as the letter of the law with regards to UK and global tax legislation. We believe that we should pay our fair share of tax on the profits arising from our success, and we do not plan to deviate from this embedded culture going forward.
How we manage our tax risks
ZPG is part of the technology sector, a dynamic and fast-paced industry, where there are added risks involved for companies in keeping compliant with global tax legislation that changes year on year.
Following the appointment of ZPG’s first in-house tax specialist in 2021, ZPG has doubled the number of qualified tax specialists in the group to two. The team consists of a Tax Manager and a Senior Tax Manager, who both hold relevant accountancy and tax advisory qualifications. The tax team ensures that ongoing changes in the tax landscape are monitored and assessed for any potential impact to the ZPG group, through tax press and advisor updates, and attending periodic formal training.
The in-house tax team manage all tax issues with the support of internal Finance, HR and Legal teams and external tax advisers.
Our internal tax processes and procedures provide sufficient segregation of duties, and all tax returns are reviewed to mitigate the risk of error. The tax processes and procedures are regularly monitored by the tax team and updated to ensure they operate effectively for SAO reporting. Where tax risks are identified, these are documented in the ZPG risk register and escalated to the CFOs, Audit Committee and Board of Directors where relevant.
On areas of uncertainty, we seek professional advice on tax matters to ensure our compliance with all tax obligations, whilst maintaining a low-risk approach.
The ZPG group has an Audit Committee which has oversight of tax risks, and these are raised to the Audit Committee and the Board by the CFOs where relevant. The CFOs have regular contact with the Senior Tax Manager to ensure they are kept updated on any tax risks as and when they arise.
Attitude to tax planning and risk
We take a conservative approach to tax planning and strategy. As such, no effective tax rate target is set by the Board and we have no motive or intention to enter into tax mitigation arrangements that could be considered as abusive in the current business climate.
Historically we have grown the business through acquisition, and if this trend continues, we will seek ‘acquisition-based’ tax advice as appropriate. Whilst we ensure that new acquisitions are integrated into the group in a tax efficient manner, we have no structured tax planning that could be considered abusive and conduct transactions in compliance with tax laws and regulations.
We believe that corporations should pay their fair share of tax, and we do not plan to deviate from this embedded culture going forward.
Overall risk and relationship with HMRC
Overall, we take a low risk approach in dealing with tax risks, tax governance and tax compliance. This is reinforced by our strong and proactive relationship with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, where no significant issues arose during previous reviews of our corporation tax, VAT and employment tax systems and processes. We regularly communicate with our HMRC Customer Compliance Manager and provide updates to HMRC on work that the internal tax team are doing. Where findings are recognised we take this as an opportunity to update our processes.
Further, our policies, procedures and behaviours are rooted to core values of honesty and integrity. Such values are ingrained in the business culture at ZPG and prove integral to the way we carry out business, extending from internal matters such as employee conduct to external affairs regarding UK tax compliance.
The publication of this tax strategy is considered to constitute compliance with the duty under paragraph 16(2) Schedule 19 Part 2 of Finance Act 2016.
This tax strategy is reviewed annually and was last updated in December 2022.
Annual Report and Financial Statements
The Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2021 can be found here.