The publication of this tax strategy statement is regarded as satisfying the statutory obligation under Paragraph 19(2), Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016, for the UK companies and UK Permanent Establishments of the Azets Topco Limited group (hereafter referred to as “Azets”). This tax strategy applies to the financial year ended 30 June 2021 and describes the approach to the management of the Azets group UK tax affairs.

This strategy is published by Azets Topco Limited as the parent company of the group.  The strategy is also published by Blick Rothenberg Limited; Azets Holdings Limited and Cogidocs Holding Limited as the UK parent companies of their respective sub-groups.

Azets is an international business services group supporting entrepreneurial businesses and their owners and managers.  The group provides accountancy, audit, advisory and business processing outsourcing operations and has operations in the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Romania and Estonia.  The group was formed in 2016 from the acquisition of three established businesses in the UK and Nordics. Since then, the Group has completed a series of acquisitions.  The group rebranded from Cogital to Azets on 7th September 2020, this brand is used in the Nordics and the UK with Blick Rothenberg retaining its brand as part of Azets in the UK.

Organisational structure

This tax strategy statement applies to all of the UK companies and UK Permanent Establishments of the Azets group, as listed in the appendix to this document. 

There is no ultimate UK incorporated parent company of the group as Azets Topco Limited is incorporated in Jersey, although it is tax resident in the UK.  As there is no UK incorporated parent company, this strategy will be published by Azets on behalf of the group entities that are tax resident in the UK, published by Blick Rothenberg Limited on behalf of itself, its subsidiaries and its sister entity Blick Rothenberg Holdco Limited, by Azets Holdings Limited on behalf of itself, its subsidiaries and its sister entity Azets Audit Services Limited and Cogidocs Holdings Limited on behalf of its subsidiary Cogidocs Limited.   

Whilst there is a separate requirement for each sub-group to publish a strategy, as the tax strategy across the group is consistent, one strategy has been prepared, identifying all the entities which it covers, in line with HMRC guidance. 

Values

Azets values are important to our culture and our relationship with our people and our clients. Azets values are;

  • Collaborative We are stronger together. We share knowledge, ask for help and empower each other to achieve more collectively.
  • Authentic We constantly ask ourselves what is the right thing to do for our people, our clients and our business, acting with integrity at all times.
  • Respectful We are open minded and value everyone’s contribution, embracing our differences and fostering a culture of trust and inclusion.
  • Dynamic We adapt quickly to change, finding smart ways to deliver the best results and remain one step ahead.

Approach to tax risk management and governance

Azets has a strong sense of corporate and social responsibility and this extends to complying with UK and international tax obligations and operating with strong corporate governance. 

As a business advisory firm our reputation is critically important to us and our clients and we are committed to complying not just with the letter, but with the spirit of the tax law when it comes to advising our clients as well complying with our own tax responsibilities.

Azets is liable to account for a broad range of UK taxes including corporation tax, VAT, PAYE, National Insurance Contributions, insurance premium tax, business rates, the apprenticeship levy and Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Azets is committed to compliance with UK tax law, regulation and disclosure requirements by:

  • Paying the right amount of UK tax at the right time,
  • Filing complete and accurate returns on a timely basis,
  • Seeking to utilise available tax reliefs and incentives where available in a manner which is consistent with the UK government’s policy objectives.
  • Consulting with qualified staff members in their areas of expertise, such as VAT, employment and corporate taxes if an area of uncertainty arises.
  • Seeking advice from external advisors to provide additional expertise where considered appropriate. 

Partners are employees (and not self-employed partners). Contractors tax treatment is assessed to confirm if they should be on or off of payroll.

Overall responsibility for the Azets tax strategy rests with the group board of directors. This strategy was approved by the board and prepared by management in consultation with the groups tax advisors.  The Board agrees to review the strategy annually to ensure it remains accurate and relevant.

Day to day management of each UK sub-group’s tax affairs is undertaken by the finance team within each of the sub-groups, who then report to the group finance function.  The finance teams work together with the qualified tax teams in the business  to ensure compliance with UK law and regulation. External advisors are appointed as required.

As this arrangement relies on the finance team members to identify an area of tax risk or sensitivity, the finance teams are kept aware of changes in tax legislation by ongoing communication with the tax technical staff.   

If deficiencies in tax reporting or compliance are identified by the finance team, these areas are discussed with senior in-house qualified tax professionals and escalated as appropriate to management and the Board, and the matter addressed without delay.

Attitude towards tax planning

Azets does not engage in aggressive tax planning nor participate in artificial tax avoidance schemes to reduce the UK tax liability. 

When considering business planning opportunities for Azets or for our clients, our focus is on sound commercial principals and understanding the underlying economic objectives and substance. 

All in-house tax staff follow the principles and standards of behavior set out in the Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT) published by the Chartered Institute of Taxation. 

Transactions between companies within the group are undertaken on an arm’s length basis and arm’s length transfer pricing is adopted.  Appropriate documentation is in place which supports the transfer price used and is compliant with UK and OECD transfer pricing policies. 

Azets has grown by acquisition, a level of tax due diligence was undertaken for each transaction, not just on the business’s compliance with their own tax obligations, but also the quality and robustness of advice provided to clients.  Where any deficiencies were identified through the due diligence these transactions did either not proceed or proceeded with remedial action being taken thereafter. 

Level of tax risk accepted

Azets takes a responsible approach to managing its UK tax affairs and seeks to comply with all statutory obligations. The scale and complexity of the group’s business and the volume of its tax obligations, means that inevitably risks will arise. Where risks are identified by the finance teams they are evaluated with assistance from in-house qualified staff or with external professional advisors and managed proactively. 

If for a certain transaction there is considered to be a material level of uncertainty or complexity, the group will seek external advice to help reduce risk. 

Azets approach to tax risks follows the same principles that apply to other business risks and includes consideration of reputational and other non-financial risks. 

Relationship with HMRC

Azets promote an open and collaborative relationship with HMRC in relation to our own and our client’s tax affairs. 

Where possible Azets engage proactively with HMRC and is committed to principles of openness and transparency when dealing with HMRC. If the group is unclear on how tax law should be applied, it may engage with HMRC in advance of undertaking transactions to confirm the correct application of tax law.

Where queries are raised by HMRC, Azets will respond promptly and provide full and accurate answers in the interest of resolving any queries swiftly without recourse to litigation.

Azets has not yet been allocated a Customer Compliance Manager by HMRC and therefore does not have a dedicated contact within HMRC nor a current tax risk assessment.  

List of entities covered by this Tax Strategy document:

Azets Topco Limited (incorporated in Jersey, tax resident in the UK) and its direct and indirect UK registered and UK tax resident subsidiaries:

Azets Holdco Limited

Azets Holdco 2 Limited

Azets Midco Limited

Azets Group Limited

Azets Opco Limited

CogitalGroup IP Limited

Cogidocs Holdings Limited

Azets UK Holdco Limited

Azets BR Bidco Limited

Blick Rothenberg Limited

Blick Rothenberg Global Business Services Limited

Westleton Drake Limited

H.F Secretarial Services Limited

H.F. Nominees Limited

NBB Associates Limited

BR VAT Reclaim Limited

TaxFax Limited

Kirkman Nominees Limited

Blick Rothenberg Holdco Limited

Blick Rothenberg Audit LLP

Azets BA Holdco Limited

Azets BR Bidco

Azets Holdings Limited

Azets (McC) Limited

Azets (TP) Limited

Azets (Alnwick) Limited

Azets (Ashby) Limited

Azets (Bicester) Limited

Azets (Bridgnorth) Limited

Azets (Cannock) Limited

Azets (Cardiff) Limited

Azets (Cheltenham) Limited

Azets (Coventry) Limited

Azets (Crook) Limited

Azets (Derby) Limited

Azets (Dursley) Limited

Azets (Evesham) Limited

Azets (Gloucester) Limited

Azets (Guisborough) Limited

Azets (Hetton-Le-Hole) Limited

Azets (Hexham) Limited

Azets (Jesmond) Limited

Azets (Leamington) Limited

Azets (North East) Limited

Azets (North West) Limited

Azets (Nottingham) Limited

Azets (Nuneaton) Limited

Azets (Oswestry) Limited

Azets (Payestaff) Limited

Azets (Portobello) Limited

Azets (Seaton Burn) Limited

Azets (Shrewsbury) Limited

Azets (Stourbridge) Limited

Azets (Tamworth) Limited

Azets (Telford) Limited

Azets (Walsall) Limited

Azets (Welshpool) Limited

Azets (West Country) Limited

Azets Witney Limited

Azets (Wolverhampton) Limited

Azets (Worcester) Limited

Azets (Wynyard) Limited

Azets (Yarm) Limited

Azets Advantage Limited

Azets Corporate Finance Limited

Azets Corporate Services Limited

Azets Restructuring & Insolvency Limited

Azets Technology Solutions Limited

Azets (BDM) Limited

Azets (B&A) Limited

Azets (Debt Solution) Limited

Azets (CDSW) Limited

Azets (CD) Limited

Azets (CHG) Limited

Azets (CHBS) Limited

Azets (CJ) Limited

Azets (CJT&A) Limited

Azets (FE) Limited

Azets Audit Services Limited

Azets Probate Services Limited

Azets Property Holding Company Limited

Azets Probate Limited

Azets (Peterborough) Limited

Azets Payroll and HR limited

Azets (RC) Limited

Azets (RL) Limited

Azets (TR) Limited

Azets Capital Allowances Partnership Limited

Titanium Trustees Limited

Azets (M) Limited

Azets (Barnstable) Limited

Azets (TAG) Limited

The following are also UK subsidiaries:
Cogidocs Limited
BKR International Limited
Blick Rothenberg FX Limited
Blick Rothenberg Global Business Solutions Limited
Azets (Holywell) Limited
Azets Financial Planning Limited