MSCI Inc. Tax Strategy
MSCI Inc. (“MSCI”) is publishing this strategy statement in relation to its United Kingdom (U.K.) subsidiaries’ approach to tax risk management and attitude to tax planning in the U.K. This statement is for the year ending 31 December 2017 and is made in compliance with the requirements outlined in Part 2 of Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016. The strategy below applies to taxes in the U.K.
MSCI’s Approach to Tax Risk Management and Governance Arrangements
Executive responsibility for MSCI’s tax strategy, tax risk and the supporting tax governance framework is the responsibility of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Day to day responsibility for these functions sits with the Head of Tax who reports to the CFO. The MSCI tax department consists of qualified and experienced finance professionals and works with the global controller’s organization, which is similarly staffed, to manage MSCI’s tax affairs globally.
MSCI has robust internal procedures and compliance programs to ensure we meet our tax compliance responsibilities. Those procedures are reviewed and tested by MSCI’s internal audit department and the tax department regularly reports to MSCI’s enterprise risk function to assess developing risk areas.
Ultimate oversight of MSCI’s tax policies and risk is by the audit committee of the independent board of directors and the Head of Tax regularly updates the audit committee on all significant tax matters and developments.
MSCI requires every employee to certify annually their commitment to the company’s code of conduct which stresses our commitment to ethical, transparent and responsible behavior in everything we do. MSCI’s approach to tax is aligned with the code of conduct.
MSCI’s Attitude to Tax Planning
MSCI recognizes that it has a responsibility to pay an appropriate amount of tax in each of the jurisdictions in which it operates. Against this MSCI must balance its responsibilities to maximize MSCI’s sustainable returns to shareholders. MSCI will not undertake any tax planning that cannot be sustained by the commercial requirements of the group and does not have economic substance. MSCI will not undertake any tax planning unless MSCI believes that the strategy is compliant and more likely than not to succeed.
MSCI’s Attitude Towards Risk
MSCI sees compliance with tax legislation as key to managing MSCI’s tax risk. MSCI’s strategic aim is to be complaint in all jurisdictions with regard to taxes and to come into compliance as soon as practical once MSCI is aware of a risk in a particular jurisdiction. Where there is significant uncertainty or complexity relating to an identified risk, external professional tax advice may be sought. MSCI uses reputable tax advisers to assist it meet its tax compliance responsibilities where it does not have appropriate local resources internally.
MSCI’s Approach to Dealing with Tax Authorities
MSCI engages with tax authorities in a transparent manner, with the highest degree of integrity, in order to foster cooperation and trust. MSCI seeks to resolve any disputes through pro-active discussion and negotiation with the tax authority.