Tax Strategy

Introduction

In accordance with schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016, this document sets out the Williams Group policy and approach to conducting its tax affairs including dealing with tax risk. The document is effective from year ending 31 December 2016. It will be reviewed annually by the Chief Financial Officer, with any amendments requiring approval by the board of Directors.

The overall Group objective is to ensure that the correct amount of tax is paid at the right time, whilst maintaining an open and professional relationship with HMRC. The Group remains compliant with UK legislation and does not engage in any form of aggressive tax planning. The Group is fully committed to the prevention of the facilitation of tax evasion and has a non-tolerance policy with respect to tax fraud.

Governance

The Group is committed to ensuring its tax strategy is adopted and followed consistently with clear lines of responsibility and accountability. References to tax include all direct and indirect UK taxes including corporation tax, VAT, employment taxes, stamp duty and land taxes.​

Relationships with tax authorities

HMRC has sought to address the relationship between large businesses and itself, and promote best practice in business governance over its tax affairs. The Williams Group therefore adopts an open and transparent approach when dealing with tax authorities working collaboratively in a professional, courteous and timely manner.

The Group aims to:

  • Engage in full, open and early dialogue with HMRC to discuss tax matters.
  • Observe all applicable laws, rules, regulations and disclosure requirements.
  • Be compliant with all anti-bribery legislation.
  • Make accurate and timely disclosures in correspondence and returns, and respond to queries and information requests promptly.
  • Apply diligence and care in the management of risks associated with tax matters and ensuring governance procedures are appropriate.

Governance and tax risk management

The Williams Group is committed to observing all applicable laws, rules, regulations, reporting and disclosure requirements, whilst mitigating any inherent risk through robust and well established operating policies and procedures. This encompasses controls at both local and group level to ensure items are accounted for consistently and accurately whilst in depth reviews are carried out in areas of perceived risk.

The Group also utilises an industry standard dealer management system (DMS) for all its operational and tax accounting requirements, including an integrated payroll facility ensuring that all direct and indirect taxes are calculated and collected accurately. This externally sourced DMS provides HMRC the reassurance that the system is robust and can be interrogated independently, it also ensures that changes to legislation are correctly applied and reflected in tax returns. 

Tax planning

The Williams Group trades in a tax efficient manner whilst remaining compliant with all applicable laws, it engages a third party auditing firm (RSM UK) to provide expert advice and guidance in relation to all tax matters including the calculation and submission of the Group corporation tax liability.​

Guy Adams

Managing Director

This statement was updated and approved by the Board of Directors on 17 December 2019.

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

The Williams Group of companies are fully committed to understanding all modern slavery risks and ensuring that there is no modern slavery in their own businesses or its supply chains.​

Purpose

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires businesses whose sales are in excess of £36 million to publish their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking. This statement explains the steps taken during the financial year to ensure slavery and human trafficking does not occur in any part of our business or supply chain.​

Our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of human rights. It takes various forms, including slavery, where ownership is exercised over a person, servitude which involves the obligation to provide service imposed by coercion, forced or compulsory labour, involves work or service exacted from a person under menace of a penalty, and human trafficking which comprises arranging or facilitating the travel of another with a view to exploiting them.

We are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships, whilst ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or any part of our business.

Our business and supply chains

The Williams Group is one of the leading motor retail groups in the Northwest of England representing the BMW, MINI, Jaguar and Land Rover brands and employs approximately 850 people. The Group specialises in the retailing of new and used vehicles including provision of finance and insurance products, service and repair including parts and a head office support function.

Our supply chains are predominately the major international motor manufacturers supplying vehicles and aftersales parts, whose supply chain in turn is complex and includes overseas elements. The complex nature of the manufacturers supply makes it extremely difficult for the Group to manage any issues in their supply chain and is ultimately the responsibility of the manufacturer.

Due Diligence - Slavery and Human Trafficking

The Williams Group takes a risk based approach in assessing our exposure to slavery and human trafficking within our supply chains. Our aim is to ensure that our own high standards for ethical conduct are shared by each supplier with which we do business from the outset of the procurement process.

We are committed to reviewing our existing supply chain to ensure where a potential risk is identified we engage with the supplier to establish whether they have implemented their own arrangements with prohibitions against modern slavery and human trafficking.

We carefully select new suppliers undertaking relevant due diligence to enable us to assess their processes and procedures in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking in their own organisation and supply chain.

Training and awareness

We will be providing awareness training to all senior management to allow them to ensure they are able to identify the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and our business.

The Williams Group has a zero tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking and has not been able to identify any suggestions that it applies to any of our supply chain.

Guy Adams

Managing Director

This statement was updated and approved by the Board of Directors on 17 December 2019. 

Complaints Procedure

BMW/MINI (UK) Limited (BMW/MINI) is committed to providing products and service of the highest standard. But we do understand that sometimes things can go wrong. If you have a concern or are dissatisfied in any way, we’ll do our best to help resolve the situation in a fair and transparent way.

BMW/MINI will investigate all complaints competently, diligently and impartially obtaining additional information as necessary. Every complaint will be assessed fairly, consistently and promptly taking into account all relevant factors to ensure a fair outcome for you.

Step 1

Discussion with your BMW/MINI Centre.

If you have a concern with either your vehicle or the service you have received at your BMW/MINI Centre, please firstly raise this with the Service Manager or Head of Business at the BMW Centre itself. They are best placed to address your concerns and if required, will contact us directly on your behalf.

Step 2

Contacting us.

Should you remain unhappy with your BMW/MINI Centre’s response, please contact us by your preferred method from the list below.

Customer Service
BMW/MINI (UK) Limited
Summit ONE
Summit Avenue
Farnborough
Hampshire GU14 0FB

Telephone:

0370 5050 160

Email:

customer.service@bmw.co.uk

customer.service@mini.co.uk

We’re here:
9am - 6pm Monday to Friday

What you will need to provide.

To help us investigate and try to resolve your complaint, please provide us with the following information:

  • your name and address;
  • details of how we can contact you;
  • a clear description of your complaint;
  • details of what you would like us to do to rectify the situation; and
  • if appropriate, copies of any relevant supporting documentation.

Our commitment to you.

  • We’ll thoroughly investigate your complaint and offer a fair response that will take into account all the information available to us
  • We will do our best to resolve your complaint quickly, by the end of the next business day if possible. If this is not possible, and your complaint relates to our credit broking, we will:
    • within 5 working days, provide a written acknowledgement of your complaint and give you the details of who is handling the case and how to contact them
    • keep you updated on the progress of your complaint, and
    • within 8 weeks of receiving your complaint, we will either: write to you with our final response and the reasons for providing this response, or explain why we are not in a position to give you a final response and let you know when we expect to be able to provide it.
  • In some cases we’ll need to contact your BMW/MINI Centre for more information. If appropriate, we may refer the complaint directly to them for information or action
  • We may not always provide the answer you are looking for, but we’ll make sure we offer a clear explanation for our decision

Financial Services

If your complaint relates to a finance agreement with BMW/MINI Financial Services, please click below for details on BMW/MINI Financial Services’ complaint handling procedure.

Find out more - BMW

Find out more - MINI

Step 3

What if I remain unhappy with your response?

If you are dissatisfied with either our final response, or the reasons for any delay in providing our final response you may be able to ask the Financial Ombudsman Service for an independent review.

To be able to ask them for an independent review your complaint must be in relation to our credit broking activities that is to say any marketing material or recommendations we make in relation to any finance offers from BMW/MINI Financial Services (GB) Limited and you must have given us the opportunity to find a resolution first. You must also be a private individual, or a business, charity or trust with an annual turnover of less than 2 million euros and fewer than 10 employees.

If you wish to pursue your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service you must do so within 6 months from the date on which we send you our final response letter. The Financial Ombudsman’s details are:

The Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower
London
E14 9SR

Telephone:

0300 123 9 123

Email:

complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Website:

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

You may also raise a complaint with any of the trade bodies listed below.

Motor Codes

Motor Codes is a government-backed, self-regulatory body for the motor industry. BMW/MINI subscribes to the New Car Code, which covers the sale of new cars, warranties, the availability of replacement parts, and advertising and complaint handling. In addition, our BMW/MINI Centres subscribe to the Service and Repair Code which commits them to open, transparent and fair methods of business aiming to maintain consistently high standards.

Telephone:

0207 3441 651

Email:

consumer@motorcodes.co.uk

Website:

www.motorcodes.co.uk

BVRLA conciliation

BMW/MINI is a member of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (the BVRLA). If you are not happy with our final response and would like to refer your complaint to the BVRLA’s conciliation scheme, you may email them at:

complaint@bvrla.co.uk

or write to them at:

BVRLA
River Lodge
Badminton Court
Amersham
HP7 0DD

The European Commission’s Online Dispute Resolution Service

European legislation guarantees consumers:

  • fair treatment;
  • products which meet acceptable standards;
  • a right of redress if something goes wrong.

To help ensure that companies meet the standards set by the European Parliament, consumers now have the right to address their complaint to the European Commission’s Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Service. For full details please go to:

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/

Statement Of Investment Principles

This Statement of Investment Principles ("the Statement") has been prepared by the Trustees of the Williams Motor Co. (Holdings) Limited Retirement Benefits Plan ("the Plan") in accordance with Section 35 of the Pensions Act 1995, as amended, and its attendant Regulations.

The Statement outlines the principles governing the investment policy of the Plan and the activities undertaken by the Trustees to ensure the effective implementation of these principles.

In preparing the Statement, the Trustees have:

  • Obtained and considered written advice from a suitably qualified individual, employed by their investment consultants, Mercer, whom they believe to have a degree of knowledge and experience that is appropriate for the management of their investments; and
  • Consulted with the Sponsoring Employer, although they affirm that no aspect of their strategy is restricted by any requirement to obtain the consent of the Sponsoring Employer.

    The advice and the consultation process considered the suitability of the Trustees' investment policy for the Plan.

    The Trustees will review the Statement formally at least every three years to coincide with the triennial Actuarial Valuation or other actuarial advice relating to the statutory funding requirements. Furthermore, the Trustees will review the Statement without delay after any significant change in investment policy. Any changes made to the Statement will be based on written advice from a suitably qualified individual and will follow consultation wrth the Sponsoring Employer.

    The Plan operates both defined benefit ("DB") and defined contribution ("DC") sections. It is a hybrid arrangement; some members are subject to a defined benefit underpin ("underpin members"), namely GMP in respect of service before 6 April 1997, and some members have DC only benefits ("DC members"). A small number of underpin members may require a top-up to their defined contribution fund at retirement from the Plan's unallocated funds for the defined benefit underpin to be provided.
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