Our tax responsibilities
We are committed to the responsible management of our tax affairs, including a transparent and compliant approach to tax law.
We believe that taxpayers should not seek to exploit weaknesses in the system to gain an advantage.
Our tax specialists ensure that we comply with the law in a timely manner. Our risk-based approach to tax management involves a rigorous review and approval process. RBS does not undertake planning to avoid tax and has a low appetite toward the acceptance of tax risk.
During 2016 the group continued the reduction of its international footprint. By 31 December 2016 the group had exited numerous businesses in multiple jurisdictions and had ceased accepting new business in certain countries. During 2017 many of these jurisdictions will be fully exited.
Following this the group will retain a limited number of overseas businesses. RBS continues to operate policies to ensure there is no artificial diversion of profits between high and low tax countries. RBS is taking steps to comply fully with the new “country by country” reporting requirements introduced as a result of the implementation of Action 13 of the OECD’s “Base Erosion & Profit Shifting” project (BEPS).
RBS will not take any actions which could lead to facilitation of tax evasion either on our own part or on that of our customers.
RBS will publish a tax strategy in 2017 as required by HM Revenue & Customs.
Dealing with tax authorities
We manage tax in accordance with local laws and we are transparent in our interaction with tax authorities. In the UK, we have signed and comply with the Government’s Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks. This commits us to obeying the spirit and letter of the law and to maintaining an open dialogue with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). We consult with HMRC as appropriate on transactions with uncertain tax implications to ensure that we meet the principles of the Code. We follow these principles in all our chosen markets.
Tax payments in 2016
• Contributed £1.55 billion in tax globally
• Contributed £1.41 billion to the UK Government compared to £1.36 billion in 2015
Country-by-country tax payments
In accordance with the European Commission’s Capital Requirement Directive IV, we disclose our full country-by-country tax payments online.
Please note that because of the way tax law operates, there is often a substantial difference between taxable profits and accounting profits.