The Irwin Mitchell Group (“the Group”) is a UK based business, providing legal and other related services to a broad range of UK and international clients.
The Group intends this statement to satisfy any statutory responsibilities it may have to disclose its approach to the management of taxes. In particular, this statement complies with the UK disclosure requirement under Paragraph 16 Schedule 19 of the UK 2016 Finance Act. References to taxation includes all Income Tax, Corporation Tax, PAYE, NIC, VAT and stamp duty land taxes in respect of which the Group has legal responsibilities.
This Strategy applies to the financial year ending 30 April 2022 and was approved by the Group Board on 31 March 2022.
This strategy applies to the Irwin Mitchell Group, which comprises Irwin Mitchell LLP (a limited liability partnership), Irwin Mitchell Holdings Limited (a Jersey registered holding company) and all associated subsidiaries, which are listed in the attached Annex. Irwin Mitchell Holdings Limited is resident for tax purposes in the United Kingdom, and is the corporate member of Irwin Mitchell LLP.
In addition to considering the taxes incurred by the business, this strategy also covers the external tax advice provided to clients.
We are committed to responsible business practices, and our strategy includes being a leading responsible business in all we do, which for tax means ensuring that we pay the right amount of tax at the right time in full compliance with all of our obligations, including full disclosure to the tax authorities.
Ultimate responsibility for the Group’s tax strategy and compliance rests with the Board of Irwin Mitchell Holdings Limited. The Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has executive responsibility for tax matters, with day to day management of the Group’s tax affairs managed by the Group Finance team, which is staffed with appropriately qualified individuals. We hold quarterly meetings with our tax advisors, and seek additional advice (including counsel’s opinion) where there is deemed to be any uncertainty or judgment required in applying relevant legislation.
Robust tax policies and procedures are in place, with internal controls carried out to ensure these are adhered to across the business. Appropriate training is provided to those outside the tax team who manage or process matters which could impact on tax.
Attitude to tax risk
It is the desire of the Board to maintain a low risk tax strategy; to pay a fair amount of tax, submit all tax returns by the due date and build a positive partnership with HMRC allowing us to plan our business strategy and support our clients with certainty around our tax treatment.
We do not participate in any aggressive tax schemes; and have a strong condition of membership for our Irwin Mitchell LLP partners that they may not participate in any scheme that requires disclosure under DOTAS (Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes) or similar. We have policies and supervision in place to ensure inappropriate advice, which includes aggressive tax schemes, is not provided to external clients.
We structure and conduct our business in a manner which is based on commercial and economic substance first and foremost, with full regard to the potential impact of tax risks on our reputation and the affairs of our clients. We carry out tax planning activities only where they are aligned to our business and commercial objectives.
We aim to be categorised as “low risk” by HMRC.
Whilst we are a UK based business, we do work for international clients. We adopt the same low risk approach to any International tax obligations as to our UK tax requirements. We identify and regularly review any necessary non-UK registration and filing requirements, ensuring we are set up appropriately from day one.
Management of tax risks
The Group considers the tax risk associated with all material transactions or processes as and when these arise, and seeks to reduce the level of tax risk arising from its operations as far as is reasonably practicable by ensuring that risks are visible and monitored and reasonable care is exercised in the management of those risks.
As a business we have a risk management framework to ensure the identification, prioritisation and monitoring of risks across the business, and tax risks are included within this process. This includes escalation of emerging or higher risk matters to formal Risk Committees and if necessary the appropriate Board.
We conduct business activities which may from time to time lead to tax risks. We seek to identify those risks proactively and mitigate them wherever possible. Whilst we will not take positions on tax matters that may create reputational risk or jeopardise our good standing with tax authorities, we are however prepared to litigate where we disagree with a ruling or decision of a tax authority, having always first sought to resolve any disputed matters through active and transparent discussion.
Relationship with HMRC
We aim to have an open, transparent and collaborative relationship with HMRC. We have regular contact with our customer compliance manager (CCM) and seek to ensure that HMRC are made aware of any transactions or changes in the business which will have a material impact on taxation. We actively encourage compliance visits, and any inadvertent errors are fully disclosed as soon as is practicable after they are identified.
UK Tax Contribution
The Group makes a significant contribution to the UK Exchequer through taxes paid by its various entities and partners of Irwin Mitchell LLP. The Group considers the tax arising on partners’ profit shares as part of its overall tax strategy and a significant amount of income tax and national insurance is paid by the individual partners of Irwin Mitchell LLP. As a result, the overall tax contribution related to our Group profits is higher than would appear to be the case from looking solely at our group financial statements.
Publishing our strategy
This strategy will be published on our website at https://www.irwinmitchell.com/ and be updated annually.
Associated Trading Subsidiaries
- IM Asset Management Limited
- IMe Law Limited
- Ascent Performance Group Limited
- MPH Solicitors Limited
- Coris UK Limited