Qatar Investment AuthorityTax Policy Statement of Purpose
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) was established by Amiri Decision No (22) of 2005 (as amended) establishing the QIA, with the aim of: “… developing, investing and managing the State reserve funds and other property assigned to it by the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment of the State of Qatar (“the Supreme Council”) in accordance with the policies, plans and programs approved by the Supreme Council.”
The Tax Unit of the Legal Department is responsible for providing the tax services required to support the operation of QIA’s business or, where appropriate, for coordinating the provision of such services from External Tax Advisers or Legal Counsel.
Purpose of this Document
In support of QIA’s mandate, this Policy is intended to provide a framework for managing taxes in QIA. This Document outlines QIA’s:
• approach to the management of tax; • attitude to tax planning; • assessment of acceptable tax risk; • tax governance effectiveness; and • intended relationship with tax authorities.
Scope of this Policy
This Policy applies to Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), all QIA Managed Entities and all Special Purpose Entities (“SPEs”) controlled by any of them (“QIA Group”).
This Policy has been approved in accordance with the QIA governance framework and policies and applies to QIA Group’s activities within the State of Qatar, as well as globally.
At QIA, we are driven by our values and principles. Integrity is an important part of who we are as an organisation. We believe that honesty and professionalism are fundamental to our role as the sovereign investment fund of the State of Qatar. Our culture and values are fully reflected in this Policy.
Our approach to the management of tax
The Tax Unit of the Legal Department has a responsibility, delegated to it and overseen in accordance with the QIA Policies and Procedures, to manage the QIA Group’s tax position in a way that:
• Protects the value of investments, with tax being treated as any other cost to the QIA Group; • Limits financial costs through the appropriate use of legitimate tax planning; • Reduces the risk of errors that may result in financial costs or reputational damage through the maintenance of a robust tax governance framework; and • Complies with the relevant applicable tax laws, act with robust integrity in all its dealings with tax authorities in all of the jurisdictions in which it operates and invests.
Tax planning is a legitimate activity, which the QIA Group should engage in to protect the value of its investments and manage the costs of any taxes it suffers. Accordingly, QIA will always consider taking advantage of legitimate tax reliefs and alternatives offered under the laws of the countries in which it invests.
However, QIA does not use marketed tax avoidance schemes or conduct any wholly artificial tax planning.
Transaction structures must have QIA’s wider commercial goals as their fundamental driver and QIA will always consider the potential impacts of all proposed transactions including considering any potential financial and reputational impacts on the QIA Group.
QIA accepts that tax risk is a function of the QIA Group’s global activities and needs to be managed appropriately. It does this through adhering to the QIA’s formal risk management framework, policies and methodologies to ensure that emerging tax risks across all activities are identified, assessed, managed, and reported where appropriate to QIA senior management.
Where new tax risks emerge, either as part of a transaction or through day-to-day operations, these are formally assessed by the Tax Unit to ensure that these are in line with the QIA’s attitude to risk.
Where appropriate, tax advice will be taken from reputable third party advisors and advance clearances will be sought periodically from tax authorities to ensure that QIA complies with the laws applicable to the transaction structure.
The Tax Unit of the Legal Department is responsible for ensuring that it meets the robust requirements set out in the QIA’s governance standards.
This involves ensuring that there are effective controls in place around all significant tax processes and operations, with adherence to these controls monitored and reported to senior management on a regular basis.
Reviews of tax governance effectiveness are undertaken on a periodic basis by the QIA’s Internal Audit department and by the Tax Unit of the Legal Department to ensure compliance with the QIA’s governance standards.
Tax compliance and interaction with global tax authorities
QIA intends to have professional and cooperative relationships with tax authorities in all of the jurisdictions in which it operates.
It endeavours to comply with all its compliance obligations and legal disclosure requirements and whenever a dispute arises, it actively engages with the relevant tax authority to expedite an efficient resolution.