We believe it is important to state our views on tax in the context of corporate responsibility. We believe our obligation is to pay the amount of tax legally due in the territory in which the liability arises and to observe all applicable rules and regulations in all of the territories in which we operate. However, at the same time we also have an obligation to maximise share owner value and to manage financial and reputational risk. This includes controlling our overall liability to taxation.
The Group does not condone either personal or corporate tax evasion under any circumstances, and where such activities are identified, full disclosure of the activities undertaken are required to be made to the relevant tax authorities.
Our aim is to have a constructive relationship with tax authorities on an ongoing basis. Nevertheless we recognise that there may be some areas that are not free from doubt or where differing legal interpretations may be possible. Where disputes arise with tax authorities with regard to the interpretation and application of tax law, we are committed to addressing the matter promptly and resolving the matter in a responsible manner.
During 2008, the Board of WPP concluded that the most appropriate structure to protect the Group’s taxation position and to better facilitate its financial management was to introduce a new Jersey incorporated parent company that is tax resident in the Republic of Ireland. The new parent company, WPP plc, was put in place following overwhelming share owner approval and in accordance with the requisite Court Approved Scheme of Arrangement.
WPP plc has its primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and its American Depositary Shares are traded on NASDAQ. WPP plc continues to report in sterling.