Kesko tax policy

This Tax Policy describes the objective and key principles Kesko Corporation and Kesko Group (“Kesko”) follow in the management of taxes. The policy also describes the organisation and responsibilities. Kesko’s Tax Policy is derived from and in line with our business strategies, Sustainability Policy, Risk Management Policy and the K Code of Conduct.

Tax policy objective

The objective of this Tax Policy is to lay out the key principles applied by Kesko in the management of taxes. The principles are aimed at implementing Kesko’s mission to create welfare responsibly for all our stakeholders and for all society. The taxes paid and remitted by Kesko have a positive impact on economic welfare in the countries where we operate. Kesko is committed to operating in a responsible manner and to complying with ethically acceptable principles in all its activities. With the publication of the Tax Policy, we aim to bring transparency to our management approach to taxes.

Kesko’s key principles in the management of taxes

The foundation of Kesko’s Tax Policy is to pay the right amount of tax at the right time to the right tax authorities, complying with local legislation in all our operating countries. Our tax compliance is based on established interpretations, observing both the letter and the spirit of tax laws.

Kesko’s transfer pricing is based on the arm’s length principle. In pricing intra-group transactions, we aim to comply with both local transfer pricing rules as well as the Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations issued by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

We comply with tax reporting requirements towards tax authorities and other stakeholders in line with local legislation in each of our operating countries. We disclose country-by-country tax information to tax authorities in accordance with the OECD model and publish our tax footprint as part of the annual Sustainability Report, following the applicable reporting standards. In Kesko’s consolidated financial statements, taxes are reported in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Kesko’s investment and location decisions are driven by business needs. We consider tax implications as part of our decision-making process and treat transactions and structures based on their commercial merits. We do not participate in artificial arrangements set up only for tax reasons. Our tax planning is based on the spirit of tax laws and tax incentives specifically provided for in legislation, always aligned with Kesko’s business strategies.

Kesko does not operate in non-cooperative tax jurisdictions as defined by the EU.

Kesko fosters co-operative working relationships with tax authorities. We aim to ensure a good local tax reputation in all the jurisdictions where we operate. We may seek advice or advance rulings in situations subject to interpretation, based on open disclosure of facts and circumstances.

Kesko engages in constructive dialogue with legislators and authorities through various representation bodies in the countries where we operate. We contribute to the development of coherent and sustainable tax legislation and tax practices by e.g. responding to consultations on government proposals and administrative changes and bringing practical aspects and industry points of view into consideration.

Organisation and responsibilities

Kesko has a centralised tax function within the finance organisation headed by the Group CFO. The tax function is responsible for establishing a tax governance model and for ensuring that systems, processes and controls are set up to facilitate the efficient management of Kesko’s tax obligations. Our tax specialists work closely with the businesses and engage in the planning of business and structural changes to find feasible solutions for tax compliance. The business areas, companies and Kesko’s Business Services Centre are responsible for carrying out tax compliance activities in accordance with local tax legislation, this policy, and instructions and guidance from the tax function.

Kesko’s tax risk management is based on the overall Risk Management Policy. We continuously seek to identify, assess and mitigate financial, reputational and compliance risks arising in relation to tax. As tax legislation and compliance requirements are subject to constant change in our operating environment, we regularly monitor changes in tax legislation and review risk assessments to ensure the sustainability of our tax positions. Tax issues, including disputes, are regularly reported to the Audit Committee of Kesko’s Board of Directors.

Kesko takes seriously any reports on suspected breaches of law or misconduct. Kesko has a confidential reporting channel (SpeakUp) that is intended for reporting suspected criminal offences or misconduct, including any such concerns related to tax matters.

The Tax Policy is approved by Kesko Corporation’s Board of Directors. The Group’s tax function regularly assesses the need to update the Tax Policy. The Tax Policy covers Kesko Group companies in all operating countries and applies to all types of taxes and duties. Kesko Group personnel must comply with the Tax Policy. Kesko’s divisions, companies, and common operations are responsible for the implementation of the policy within their respective areas of responsibility.

Validity

Approved by Kesko’s Board of Directors on 2 February 2021. Comes into force on 2 February 2021. 

Replaces the Kesko Tax Strategy dated 5 July 2007.

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