Punchestown - At The Races

At The Races UK Tax Strategy


At The Races operates dedicated horseracing media platforms, broadcasting on its horseracing TV channel (Sky Sports Racing) daily live action from UK racecourses, the US, Australia as well as other select international fixtures. The Attheraces Group (“Group”)’s domestic market is the UK and Ireland with distribution of the Sky Sports Racing TV channel extending to 14 million UK and Irish homes via digital satellite and cable networks.

We are committed to making racing available to the widest possible audience without compromise on quality of coverage. Our commitment to quality also extends to how we interact with all of our stakeholders, including HMRC, as we seek to develop and maintain good working relationships in every aspect of our business. We seek to achieve this by operating in a professional and courteous manner.

This Tax Strategy is applicable to our tax activities as they relate to UK taxation. This document meets the requirement for the Group to publish its Tax Strategy as required by section 161 and paragraph 16(4) of Schedule 19 of Finance Act 2016. It is effective for the accounting period ended 31 December 2020 and covers Attheraces Holdings Limited and its subsidiary companies.


Tax compliance and reporting

We are committed to meeting all our legal and regulatory requirements in paying the correct amount of tax and meeting our tax compliance obligations. Compliance with all laws and regulations, including those relating to tax are firmly embedded in the business and we have an established internal control system and procedures to help achieve this. This includes seeking to apply diligent professional care and judgement in our tax compliance activities, and providing sufficient evidence to support all judgements made.


Governance and risk management

The UK board of directors of Attheraces Holdings Limited provides oversight in ensuring that tax is considered within the wider context of the business and in how tax risk is managed across the Group. Compliance and risk matters, including those concerning taxation, are included on the agenda at board meetings.  

The Head of Finance has responsibility over the Group’s approach to UK tax on a day-today basis and is supported by an experienced in-house finance team. Together, they are responsible for the identification, prioritisation and monitoring of tax risk across the UK business, as well as the escalation of tax risk to the board of directors of Attheraces Holdings Limited.

The Group has a low threshold for risk in respect of UK taxation and this aligns with the Group’s approach to maintaining our commitment to operating in the highest ethical manner. The Group is not prepared to accept a level of risk that would expose it to reputational harm or which could adversely impact its relationship with HMRC.

Where there is significant uncertainty or complexity in relation to tax risk, we will seek input from external advisors.

As the business falls within the Senior Accounting Officer (‘SAO’) legislation, we are required to establish and maintain appropriate tax accounting arrangements. To support our ongoing SAO compliance, we conduct reviews to monitor these arrangements and identify any potential tax risks.

Furthermore, the business has taken steps to comply with the Criminal Finances Act 2017 where we monitor and review our risks and controls.


Our approach to tax planning

We have a low risk appetite to tax planning as it affects UK taxation, and tax decisions are aligned to business and commercial strategy. Like any other business expense however, we seek to create value for our shareholders. As such, we may respond to tax incentives and reliefs where appropriate and in a way that is consistent with HMRC and government policy. For example, the Group has brought forward tax losses that it will use to offset future taxable profits as permitted under current legislative provisions.  

As appropriate, we will seek external professional tax advice to ensure we apply these incentives and reliefs legitimately, particularly if the outcome of a transaction is uncertain or complex. If appropriate, we will seek advance clearances with HMRC to ensure we minimise the risk of uncertainty.

This approach ensures that we can maximise shareholder value whilst complying with applicable legislation requirements and HMRC guidance.


Relationships with UK Tax Authorities

The Group is committed to working with HMRC in an open, honest and transparent manner. Wherever possible, we will seek to work collaboratively with HMRC in terms of keeping them up to date about any commercial developments and events in our business that may have a tax impact and will work with HMRC to achieve early agreement on matters of complexity.

This Tax Strategy has been developed by the Head of Finance.

 Approved by the Board of Attheraces Holdings Limited on 10 December 2020