FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2017
This policy describes Viacom Inc.'s approach to arranging the company's tax affairs and applies to Viacom and all of its subsidiaries. By making this policy publicly available, we regard this policy as compliant with the UK tax strategy publication requirement under paragraph 16(2) and/or paragraph 22(2), Schedule 19 to the Finance Act 2016, for the financial year ending September 30, 2017.
Viacom is a global entertainment content company. Viacom's media networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick, Channel 5 (UK), Telefe (Argentina) and Paramount Channel, reach over 3.9 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Paramount Television develops, finances and produces programming for television and other platforms. Viacom currently employs over 9,000 employees worldwide.
Our Commitment to Compliance
We comply with tax laws and practices in all of the territories in which we operate, which means that we adhere to all of the rules that are relevant with respect to determining the bases for our worldwide tax liabilities, the timing for our tax payments and disclosing all relevant facts and circumstances to applicable tax authorities. We seek to develop open working relationships with tax authorities worldwide based on transparency and trust, while seeking consensus and avoiding conflict. We make any required disclosures to tax authorities promptly and take a proactive approach to resolving any tax disputes with tax authorities. Viacom, on a continuous basis, makes substantial investments in human capital and technology to ensure adequate controls over its tax compliance processes are in place.
Our Responsible Approach to Structuring Our Operations
In addition to other relevant factors and circumstances, we will consider the impact of taxation in structuring our commercial activities with a view to maximizing value for our shareholders on a sustainable basis, claiming credits, reliefs and incentives where available and in conformity with relevant laws, as well as taking the necessary steps to reduce the risk of double taxation. Our structure conforms to the commercial and economic substance of our business.
Our Responsible Approach to Tax Risk & Engagement with Tax Authorities
Given the scale and diversity of Viacom's global operations and the complexities of international tax laws, risks inevitably arise in the interpretation of international tax law in regard of specific transactions and business operations. Viacom's Tax Department proactively seeks to identify, evaluate and manage these risks to ensure they remain in line with Viacom's overriding risk management policies. Where the exposures resulting from the uncertainties are deemed significant, Viacom will seek external expert advice and, where possible, will seek elimination or reduction of the exposure through transparent dialogue and communication with the tax authorities.
Viacom provides training to relevant staff to ensure that risk assessment processes are adhered to. In addition, staff is able to raise concerns regarding tax risk assessment mechanisms in general or in application to specific transactions.
Viacom engages in and seeks dialogue with tax authorities in all of the countries where it conducts major business operations on a continuous basis.
Our Code of Conduct & Oversight
Our global tax policies as described herein are approved, owned and overseen by our Chief Financial Officer, and are aligned with our Global Business Practices Statement, which is periodically reviewed and approved by the Audit Committee of Viacom's Board of Directors. Any extensive restructurings and/or significant changes in tax liabilities are reviewed by our Chief Financial Officer.
Viacom adheres to, and operates in accordance with, the recent changes in the way international transactions are taxed as a result of the OECD's BEPS program and Action plans.