Global restaurateur HMSHost International is a subsidiary of Autogrill S.p.A. A major world player in the food and hospitality industry. We operate in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East and have almost 50 years' experience in airport restaurant operations, design, concept and development.
Our expertise lies in bringing vibrant local brands into airport terminals, as well as creating and operating our own innovative, custom-designed restaurants. Either way, our focus is always on rejuvenating the traveller. By welcoming them into an inviting space with a diverse offering and sense of place, we ensure their experience is as authentic as it is memorable – and shareable.
Autogrill S.p.a. is the world’s leading provider of food & beverage (F&B) concessions at travel locations, serving 900 million customers a year at airports, motorways, railway stations, on high streets, and in selected commercial sites and cultural venues.
Autogrill has over more than 57,000 employees working in 30 countries on 5 continents. And 4,200 points of sale at over 150 airports worldwide – about 1.000 locations we operate.
In 2015, Autogrill’s annual turnover was in excess of €4,3 billion.
This document, published by HMSHost group in December 2017, applies to the whole HMSHost group and complies with its obligation under the UK Schedule 19 Finance Act 2016 to publish its tax strategy for the year ending 2017.
Tax relation management
HMSHost operates worldwide and therefore encounters different tax systems, tax rules & regulations, and tax methods. However, HMSHost uses a clear approach of being transparent when it comes to its relationships with the different tax authorities. Key aspects of this approach are as follows:
• HMSHost commits to being open and transparent with the tax authorities around the globe; and
• HMSHost commits to fully disclosing all relevant information required by local tax authorities to conduct a review and tax audit, as required by local tax laws.
The HMSHost Tax Teams, with the cooperation of local management and third party (local) tax counsels, set the pace to fulfill these commitments on a day-to-day basis.
As tax is a part of every business, tax effects relating to the business activities are being reviewed by the HMSHost Tax Teams. These efforts are often supported by third party outside tax counsels. Pursuant to the outcome of these tax reviews, tax planning proposals are discussed within the HMSHost groups such as the Business Strategy, Commercial, Legal and other groups, before a decision is made. Core drivers within any tax planning proposal are:
• HMSHost refrains from knowingly using or implementing structures or arrangements which may lead to tax evasion. However, to ensure maximum benefit for our growing business and our shareholders, we are not excluding any tax incentives and exemptions that are available pursuant to local and international laws, within the group;
• Tax planning opportunities are considered within the parameters of national and (inter-) national (tax) laws and to comply with both the spirit and the letter of the law in tax matters;
• Tax planning opportunities are considered in compliance with the Group‘s Code of Ethical Conduct; and
• HMSHost commits to paying taxes in the countries where value is created, by following the “arm’s length principle” as determined in the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines.
HMSHost commits to comply fully with all applicable tax obligations, while maintaining and protecting value for its shareholders.
• HMSHost commits to minimize passive risks (compliance and reporting risks) by implementing proper procedures and internal controls and reviewing them periodically. Furthermore, HMSHost continues to improve existing procedures and controls. The Tax Teams have a strong collaboration with the division Chief Financial Officers (“CFO”). These CFOs are informed on a regular basis about the events that may have tax implications for the group or for one of our local entities; and
• HMSHost commits to minimize active risks (transactional risks) through the expertise of the in-house Tax Teams and through liaising closely with external tax counsels as needed.
Where HMSHost discovers inconsistencies in tax compliance processes, HMSHost seeks to resolve such issues as soon as possible by either discussing these inconsistencies with the local tax authorities, or, if possible, resolve such issues internally.
Accountability for all taxes ultimately lies with the HMSHost CFOs. However, responsibility for all taxes lies with the Board of Directors of each separate entity or business. Furthermore, day-to-day taxation accountabilities lie with the Tax Teams, unless an HMSHost Policy determines otherwise. Furthermore, the determination and implementation of the HMSHost Tax Strategy and Tax Policies lies with the Tax Teams. The Tax Teams are responsible for the determination and implementation of Tax Policies in all the operating regions. The HMSHost Tax Strategy follows the business activities and not the other way around, meaning that tax is typically not a driver. The Tax Teams are responsible for establishing governance systems and controls that enable us to comply with the following commitments:
• HMSHost strives to comply with all its tax filing, tax reporting and tax payment obligations worldwide;
• HMSHost is committed to be true and transparent with the tax authorities worldwide and to work collaborative wherever possible to solve any arising tax issues; and
• In areas in which it turns out that we have a different point of view with that of the tax authorities, HMSHost strives to come to an understanding and agreement or solution in an efficient manner.