Discovery Communications’ Global Tax Policy
This policy sets out Discovery Communications’ (“Discovery”) global tax strategy and outlines Discovery’s approach to conducting its tax affairs and dealing with tax risk.
- Commitment to Compliance
Discovery is committed to global compliance with tax law and practice. Compliance means paying the right amount of tax in the right place at the right time. Compliance involves a transparent and open relationship with stakeholders, including HMRC and other tax authorities, and where alternative routes exist to achieve the same commercial result the most efficient approach will be considered with due consideration given to Discovery’s reputation, legislative and regulatory requirements, brand, and corporate and social responsibility.
- Responsible Attitude on Tax aligned with Discovery’s Code of Ethics
Discovery’s Code of Ethics reflects the fundamental expectation that all employees operate with the utmost integrity. Tax decisions will be made at all times in a manner which is consistent with and complements Discovery’s Code of Ethics and core values – Integrity, Quality, Creativity, Respect, Profitability and Corporate Social Responsibility. Key business decisions should be made cognisant of the tax consequences and with the aim of optimising the after-tax returns, including claiming reliefs and incentives where available. Any structuring that is undertaken will have commercial and economic substance and will have full regards to the potential impact on our reputation and broader goals. Transactions are conducted with Discovery group companies at arm’s length pricing in line with OECD principles.
- Effective Risk Management
Discovery is committed to observing all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and reporting and disclosure requirements, wherever there is a requirement to do so as a result of our business presence and commercial transactions. Given the scale of our global operations, risks will inevitably arise from time to time in relation to the interpretation of complex tax laws. Accordingly, Discovery dedicates resources to supporting an internal tax department of trained and licensed experts who liaise directly with commercial operations. Where the application of tax is complex or uncertain, Discovery will engage with external accounting firms, law firms, direct with government agencies (i.e., HMRC), and/or external auditors to reduce the level of tax risk and uncertainty to a low level. Discovery’s focus on effective risk management also includes our fiduciary responsibility of maximising value for the Discovery shareholders.
- Constructive Approach & Real Time Engagement
Discovery is committed to the principles of honesty and transparency in its approach to dealing with tax authorities, including HMRC. All dealings with tax authorities and other relevant bodies will be conducted in a collaborative, courteous and timely manner with honesty, integrity, respect and fairness and in a spirit of co-operative compliance. The aim would be to strive for early agreement on disputed matters, and to achieve certainty wherever possible.
Discovery is a responsible taxpayer. Discovery does not engage in artificial or contrived arrangements for the purpose of avoiding tax. This document sets out Discovery’s global tax policy and will be made available to all Discovery stakeholders and published online. This document will be kept under regular review and a is compliant with the UK legal requirements of Schedule 19 of Finance Act 2016.