This UK tax strategy applies to all Biogen UK entities and its publication is regarded as satisfying the statutory obligation under paragraph 19(2), Schedule 19 of the UK Finance Act 2016, for all the Biogen UK entities. The overall goal of Biogen’s tax policy is to support its business by maintaining a sustainable tax rate while complying with tax law and regulations and mitigating tax risks in the jurisdictions in which we operate.
Tax Risk Management and Governance
Biogen’s tax arrangements are based on its commercial business and activities. In structuring our business activities, we consider tax law and transfer pricing guidelines. We apply the arm’s length standard, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and local country requirements to ensure our intercompany arrangements result in appropriate remuneration. Biogen aims to use diligent care and judgement, including ensuring decisions are made on an appropriate level and supported by proper documentation and facts.
Biogen employs experienced, qualified tax professionals who work closely with other Finance, Legal and HR teams. In order to be compliant we seek advice and guidance from various experienced external advisors, including accounting firms and law firms in various jurisdictions on complex matters. We also maintain communication and hold periodic meetings with external advisors to be proactive in an effort to continue to remain compliant in light of changes in tax laws and regulations.
Our internal tax governance structure is to have local country finance teams report quarterly or ad hoc as needed to the global tax team lead by the Senior Vice President (SVP), Tax and Corporate Finance located in the U.S. The SVP reports to Biogen’s Chief Financial Officer. The SVP and CFO communicate tax compliance, risk and related matters to the Biogen Board of Director Finance and Audit Committee as well as our independent auditors at least quarterly.
We also abide by Biogen’s stringent internal controls. Tax-related controls are reviewed and assessed on a regular basis and require certain processes and documentation of review and approval. Financial internal controls including tax controls are also updated periodically to mitigate risk.
Biogen undertakes tax planning that aligns with our commercial business activities and reputation as a responsible corporate citizen. We take advantage of tax incentives, tax credits, and related tax favourable deductions where applicable as well as relevant bilateral tax treaties aimed at avoiding double taxation. Biogen strives to ensure that any structure or transactions are done to support the business strategy and as such all decisions will have a sound commercial rationale, will be compliant with tax laws and regulations and will be considered in light of the any impact such planning could have on Biogen’s external reputation. We seek appropriate clarification from external advisors wherever appropriate.
Dealings with HM Revenue & Customs (HRMC)
Biogen is committed to the principles of openness and transparence with tax authorities. In the UK, Biogen has met with HMRC and Customer Compliance Manager to provide an overview of Biogen’s global business, tax structure, intercompany arrangements, transfer pricing policy and UK operations. Biogen is committed to maintaining communication with HMRC and other tax authorities in an effort to mitigate disputes and risks.