As an international combine, the REWE Group assumes a special responsibility for its business operations. The company believes that compliance with tax laws is a fundamental characteristic of the common good, free societies and free markets.
GRI 207-1: Approach to tax
GRI 207-2: Tax governance, control, and risk management
GRI 207-3: Stakeholder engagement and management of concerns related to tax
The responsibility for the management and control of tax positions as well as for group-wide compliance with legal regulations and internal policies is largely assigned to the Management Board of the REWE Group. The Board has contracted the tax-consulting firm Pro-Data GmbH Steuerberatungsgesellschaft to ensure that the REWE Group complies with all tax-related requirements. The Head of combine Taxes regularly informs the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the REWE Group about all key tax issues and their impact on the combine’s financial figures.
The CFO of the REWE Group and Pro-Data GmbH Steuerberatungsgesellschaft have issued the Guideline on Tax Compliance, a document that categorically applies to all German companies in the REWE Group. A second guideline containing similar requirements applies fundamentally to all companies based outside Germany.
Drawing on the conservative tax strategy that the Management Board of REWE-ZENTRALFINANZ eG developed together with the management team of Pro-Data GmbH Steuerberatungsgesellschaft, the REWE Group is working to develop a simple, tax-efficient structure that will facilitate business operations in all countries. The company employs a strategy under which it is committed to completely fulfilling its tax obligations, operating within the legal framework and refraining from the use of aggressive tax models. In particular, the REWE Group has set the goal of paying taxes on its profits in those countries where these particular business operations are conducted and observes local tax laws in the process. The REWE Group rejects the practise of artificially transferring profits to tax havens or other low-tax countries – through the use of such dodges as transfer-pricing models.
The aim of the REWE Group is to keep the amount of value added tax neutral and to reduce the tax that applies to the company’s profits to the legal minimum. The REWE Group is also committed to submitting a flawless tax return by the required deadline. The group of companies strives to work with tax authorities in a constructive and trusting manner and communicate openly and transparently with them.
To ensure compliance with legal requirements and to minimise the risk of tax law violations or to recognise them at an early stage, the REWE Group has implemented a system that is designed to facilitate regulation conformity of the tax compliance management system (TCMS). The TCMS is reviewed by an external auditor. The auditor has confirmed the adequacy and effectiveness of the TCMS.
The Tax Compliance Officer (TCO) oversees the implementation, monitoring and refinement of the TCMS. The monitoring system includes audits by auditing firms and Internal Auditing, the audit by tax authorities and the reports of the tax officers and other employees of the REWE Group. The TCO analyses the reports and implements appropriate measures when required – with the aim of eliminating the sources of errors in future or correcting errors. The TCO can also ask that those in charge of the work monitor implementation.