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Sage investor relations | Governance | Tax strategy

Tax strategy

Our global tax strategy, for the period ending 30 September 2020, supports our business strategy and therefore commercial activity. The tax strategy, which applies to UK taxation and to all corresponding worldwide taxes and similar duties in respect of which Sage has legal responsibilities, aims to manage tax affairs in a responsible and transparent manner in order to comply with relevant legislation, to file all relevant tax returns on time and to ensure the timely payment of all relevant tax liabilities.

The ultimate responsibility for Sage’s tax strategy and compliance rests with Sage’s Board who ensure that the appropriate framework is in place to oversee identification and management of tax risk.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has executive responsibility for all tax matters, with day-to-day management of tax affairs delegated to the VP of Group tax, who has a global integrated team of appropriately qualified individuals.

The CFO and UK Senior Accounting Officer regularly appraise all significant tax developments and jointly participate in all material tax-related decisions.

Sage seeks to correctly apply the tax legislation to its business operations and, in doing so, aims to minimise tax risk.  Sage thereby actively seeks to identify, evaluate, monitor and manage tax risks.

Internal controls and escalation procedures are put in place with the aim of identifying, quantifying, and managing key tax risks as well as ensuring compliance with the UK Senior Accounting Officer rules. These key risks are then monitored for business, policy, and legislative changes and, as a result, tax processes or controls are updated where required. The Group Audit & Risk Committee oversees Sage’s tax control environment through the regular review of the tax strategy.

Appropriate training is carried out for staff who manage or process tax matters.

We recognise that tax legislation can be complex and sometimes subject to interpretation and this uncertainty could give rise to tax risk. Where there is uncertainty in how the relevant tax law should be applied, external advice is sought to support the Group’s decision-making process. We may also look to engage with global tax authorities (“Tax Authorities”) to disclose and resolve issues, risks, and uncertain tax positions.

The Group undertakes tax planning only where it supports genuine commercial activity but in doing so aims to be compliant with all relevant tax laws and practices.

Accordingly, we may utilise tax incentives or opportunities for obtaining tax efficiencies where these are not considered to impair that commitment.

We seek to have collaborative and co-operative relationships with Tax Authorities through regular meetings and communications in respect of developments in Sage’s business as well as our view on current, future, and retrospective tax risks.

All interactions with Tax Authorities are conducted in an open, collaborative, and professional manner. Sage ensures that Tax Authorities are kept aware of significant transactions and changes in the business, subject to any commercial or confidentiality constraints. Where possible, any tax issues arising are discussed with the relevant Tax Authorities at an early stage.

When submitting tax computations and returns to Tax Authorities, we disclose all relevant facts and circumstances. We may meet with relevant Tax Authorities to discuss any transactions or issues where there is potential for the tax treatment to be uncertain.

This tax policy is in line with our global Code of Conduct and our Sage Values. The policy is approved and owned by the Audit and Risk Committee.

The Sage Group plc regards this publication as complying with the duty under para. 16(2) and para. 25(1), Sch 19 FA16.

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