Scope

UCC Coffee is the world’s only coffee business encompassing every aspect of coffee “from cup to seed”. UCC Coffee is ultimately parented in Japan with European operations (‘UCC Europe’) being managed by a European Head Office based in UCC Europe Limited in the UK.

UCC Europe are the market leader for the private label and single portion coffee sector with operations in France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. The UK operations involve the supply of coffee to retailers, out-of-home brands and food service companies. The business also provides coffee machines and supporting services for the retail and out-of-home market.

This strategy applies to UCC Europe Limited and to the group of companies headed by UCC Europe Limited in accordance with paragraph 17(4) of Schedule 19 to the Finance Act 2016. A list of the entities to which it applies is set out below. In this strategy, references to ‘UCC’, ‘the firm’ or ‘the group’ are to all these entities. The strategy is being published in accordance with paragraph 16(4) of the Schedule.

This strategy applies from the date of publication until it is superseded. References to ‘UK Taxation’ are to the taxes and duties set out in paragraph 15(1) of the Schedule which include Income Tax, Corporation Tax, PAYE, NIC, VAT, Insurance Premium Tax, and Stamp Duty Land Tax. References to ‘tax’, ‘taxes’ or ‘taxation’ are to UK taxation and to all corresponding worldwide taxes and similar duties in respect of which the Group has legal responsibilities.

Aim

UCC is committed to full compliance with all statutory obligations and full disclosure to relevant tax authorities. The group’s tax affairs are managed in a way which takes into account the group’s wider corporate reputation in line with UCC’s overall high standards of governance.

Governance in relation to UK taxation

  • Ultimate responsibility for UCC’s tax strategy and compliance rests with the Board of UCC Holdings Co Ltd in Japan;
  • Executive management of the group is delegated by the Board of UCC Holdings Co Ltd in Japan to the Board of UCC.
  • The CEO/Managing Director is the Board member of UCC with executive responsibility for tax matters;
  • Day-to-day management is delegated to the CFO/Finance Director, who reports to the CEO/Managing Director.
  • The CFO/Finance Director reports to the Board of UCC on tax affairs and risks during the year;
  • The Board ensures that UCC’s tax strategy is one of the factors considered in all investments and significant business decisions taken;

Risk Management

  • UCC operates a system of tax risk assessment and controls as a component of the overall internal control framework applicable to the group’s financial reporting system;
  • UCC seeks to reduce the level of tax risk arising from its operations as far as is reasonably practicable by ensuring that reasonable care is applied in relation to all processes which could materially affect its compliance with its tax obligations;
  • Processes relating to different taxes are allocated to appropriate process owners, who carry out a review of activities and processes to identify key risks and mitigating controls in place. These key risks are monitored for business and legislative changes which may impact them and changes to processes or controls are made when required;
  • Appropriate training is carried out for staff outside the Finance team who manage or process matters which have tax implications;
  • Advice is sought from external advisers where appropriate.

Attitude towards tax planning and level of risk

UCC manages risks to ensure compliance with legal requirements in a manner which ensures payment of the right amount of tax.

When entering into commercial transactions, UCC seeks to take advantage of available tax incentives, reliefs and exemptions in line with, and in the spirit of, tax legislation. UCC does not undertake tax planning unrelated to such commercial transactions.

The level of risk which UCC accepts in relation to UK taxation is consistent with its overall objective of achieving certainty in the group’s tax affairs. At all times UCC seeks to comply fully with its regulatory and other obligations and to act in a way which upholds its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen. In relation to any specific issue or transaction, the Board is ultimately responsible for identifying the risks, including tax risks, which need to be addressed and for determining what actions should be taken to manage those risks, having regard to the materiality of the amounts and obligations in question.

Relationship with HMRC

UCC seeks to have a transparent and constructive relationship with HMRC through regular meetings and communication in respect of developments in UCC’s business, current, future and retrospective tax risks, and interpretation of the law in relation to all relevant taxes.

UCC ensures that HMRC is kept aware of significant transactions and changes in the business and seeks to discuss any tax issues arising at an early stage. When submitting tax computations and returns to HMRC, UCC discloses all relevant facts and identifies any transactions or issues where it considers that there is potential for the tax treatment to be uncertain.

Any inadvertent errors in submissions made to HMRC are fully disclosed as soon as reasonably practicable after they are identified. 

List of entities covered by this Tax Strategy

  • UCC Europe Limited
  • UCC Coffee UK Holdings Limited
  • UCC Coffee UK Limited
  • UCC Europe Finance Limited