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Governing law and jurisdiction
IRIS WORLDWIDE’S tax strategy
1.1 ABOUT IRIS
Iris Worldwide is a global brand participation agency. We aim to be the most inspiring and innovative agency network on the planet.
Iris is part of Cheil Worldwide, the world’s 15th biggest agency company, allowing us an extensive global reach, whilst maintaining the ability to operate as an independent agency.
The Iris Group has the following active UK incorporated tax resident subsidiary companies:
Iris Worldwide Holdings Limited
Iris Nation Worldwide Limited
Iris London Limited
Iris Ventures 1 Limited
Iris Culture Limited
Concise Consultants Limited
Iris Korea Limited
Iris Ventures (Worldwide) Limited
Iris Partners LLP
Founded Partners Limited
Pricing Solutions (UK) Limited
The Elephant Room Limited
Iris Digital Limited
1.2 TAX SCOPE
Our business activities worldwide generate a variety of taxes, both abroad and in the UK. The purpose of this Tax Strategy is to communicate Iris’ management of taxes in the UK and our overall commitment and transparency to tax across the Group.
We pay various direct taxes and indirect taxes including, but not limited to: corporate income taxes, employment taxes, withholding taxes and value added taxes.
1.3 IRIS’ COMMITMENT
Iris is committed to complying with local and global tax laws and regulations. We believe in global transparency in all aspects of tax reporting and compliance in the countries and tax jurisdictions in which we operate. We have a clear Group-wide tax approach which we apply globally in line with our core business commitments, and is one which we believe is crucial to our continued international growth.
During 2018 a new role of Group Tax Director was created to allow a consolidation of all tax matters within the business and to increase internal tax knowledge.
Our tax strategy approach will be regularly reviewed to ensure that the assessed level of tax risk remains appropriate for the business activities. Any updates to our tax strategy approach will be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors, including the Chief Financial Officer.
2 TAX RISK MANAGEMENT
2.1 RISK ASSESSMENT
Iris have a low risk attitude in relation to tax matters. We identify and assess tax matters in line with our business operations and make tax decisions accordingly.
Identification, assessment and regular monitoring of tax risks are undertaken by the global Group Tax Director within the UK Finance Department, overseen by the Chief Financial Officer.
2.2. RISK MANAGEMENT
The Group Tax Director ensures that appropriate policies and procedures are in place to mitigate identified tax risks and that global tax compliance is adhered to. This approach is constantly optimising and evolving to meet changes in regulation and to ensure that tax risks are minimised. Equally, we aim to ensure that the business understands the Group Tax Director’s objectives of minimising our exposure to tax risks and how we seek to achieve this.
The Group Tax Director works closely with the Finance Heads of each subsidiary to ensure understanding of our identified tax risks and compliance with all regulations. We subsequently monitor our global tax risks and associated tax controls very closely to ensure our worldwide tax obligations are met, both responsibly and legally. Global corporation tax compliance is prepared by external tax advisors and specialist advice is sought in all areas where expert knowledge is required.
Each tax risk is identified and measured on a balanced approach when considering how best to manage the risk in the most tax efficient manner whilst always ensuring compliance with all relevant laws.
Iris always consider the wider group business as part of its decision-making process, and the level of risk which is ultimately accepted by the business will continue to be re-assessed and evaluated regularly.
3 TAX PLANNING AND GOVERNANCE
3.1 TAX PLANNING
Iris engage in tax planning that we believe is appropriate to support the size of our business and which reflects our current business objectives. This is undertaken by the Group Tax Director and the Group Finance Team and reviewed by the Chief Financial Officer. We also regularly draw on the advice of specialist tax advisors to assist in our tax planning.
Iris’ tax planning considers the following parameters when making assessments:
- Commercial purpose – tax transactions must be commercial feasible and not hinder commercial success;
- Financial purpose – cash flow is considered to maintain and positive inflow as a result of efficient tax planning;
- Statutory purpose – profitability is considered to maintain a positive impact on profits as a result of successful tax planning; and
- Brand purpose – Iris’ reputation is considered when undertaking tax planning to limit potential negative exposure.
3.2 TAX GOVERNANCE
All tax planning initiatives are reviewed by the Chief Financial Officer, an appropriate independent external tax advisor and where necessary, depending on the nature of the transaction, an independent external lawyer.
The Chief Financial Officer is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the policies and procedures in place surrounding tax risks, planning and compliance are met and adhered to globally.
Those responsible for approving tax planning are chartered accountants, and therefore are deemed responsible and competent in making such decisions.
4.1 TRANSFER PRICING
Global business and transactions gives rise to an elevated risk of under-priced services across group subsidiaries. As part of Iris’ tax risk assessments and implementation of tax risk mitigation, we ensure that all transactions are undertaken on an arm’s length basis, and that there is no artificial reduction in profits in high-tax countries.
This is reviewed on a monthly basis, and forms part of our audited annual financial statements.
4.2 BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY
Iris are fully committed to operating its business in an open and fair manner. We aim to increase our understanding of tax systems by doing so.
5 RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOVERNMENT
Iris engages openly with all tax authorities and in all relevant jurisdictions in which the business operates. Through our tax work we ensure that we adhere to all laws and regulations and work collaboratively with the tax authorities to achieve this outcome.
In particular, in the UK the Group maintains an open and honest relationship with HMRC in relation to all our tax dealings.
6 FURTHER INFORMATION
This Tax Strategy publication relates to 2018 and was last approved on 05/12/2018. It will continue to be reviewed and revised on a regular basis where required.
Our aim is to provide the very highest quality of service whilst ensuring that our business is conducted in an ethical way. We will not tolerate any abuse of human rights within our business or related supply chains and are committed to constantly refining our processes and procedures to ensure that our supply chain remains free of abuse.
Iris is a thriving micro network of over 1,000 people in 14 locations across the globe. We deliver a multitude of fully integrated specialisms within creative, consulting and mar-tech to some of the most progressive clients around the world.
Our main office is located in London and we are part of the Cheil Worldwide network. Our partnership with Cheil has allowed us to extend our global reach to a network of 55 offices.
This statement is published on behalf of Iris Nation Worldwide Limited in line with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Our Supply Chain
As an agency that is predominantly office based, we consider the risk of modern slavery, servitude or human trafficking in our supply chains to be relatively low. The services we procure to enable the delivery of our services tend to be limited to specific areas such as professional services, talent and location services, catering, property, information management and production services.
We expect all of our suppliers to operate fair and ethical workplaces.
Policies and Procedures
During 2019 we plan to build upon our current procedures and introduce a new formal Supplier Code of Conduct, which will clearly outline the standard we expect of our suppliers when conducting business including social and ethical responsibilities, compliance with applicable laws and steps to identify material human rights issues, including modern slavery concerns. Our material current suppliers and all new suppliers will be expected to adhere to this code.
As part of our wide commitment to promoting ethical business practices, we have in place a variety of policies and procedures that together address our approach to these issues:
- Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
- Anti-Slavery Policy
- Whistleblowing Policy
We also plan on adding new targeted supply chain related questions to our supplier onboarding procedures, which are intended to screen for potential issues relating to forced labour, slavery, human trafficking and/or human rights.
Our Legal and Procurement teams will take responsibility for implementing and monitoring progress of this policy and its objectives.
Monitoring and Reporting
If we become aware of an instance of modern slavery or human trafficking occurring in any of our supply chains, we will work to resolve the issue through legitimate and proportionate procedures.
Any significant problems identified in relation to modern slavery should be immediately reported to our Head of Legal at Michael.Hutcheson@iris-worldwide.com
More general issues in relation to the running of this policy should be reported back to the Procurement team on a quarterly basis.
We are in the process of implementing targeted slavery and human trafficking sessions, which will be provided where necessary in order to educate on the importance of implementing and enforcing effective systems to prevent slavery and human trafficking from taking place in our supply chains.
This statement was approved by the Board of Iris Nation Worldwide Limited.
Iris Nation Worldwide Limited
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes Iris’ slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 31 December 2018.