Being a responsible taxpayer
Living up to our responsibility to society
As a global insurer, Zurich plays an important role as a long-term investor, a provider of insurance coverage and risk management services that include resilience to natural hazards such as flooding and others. Zurich acts as a responsible corporate citizen, which influences the Group’s day-to-day decisions and long-term strategic planning. As part of this, Zurich is committed to being a responsible taxpayer and, as such, a supporter of economic and societal development in the communities where it operates.
Zurich considers effective and efficient tax compliance to be a key objective and allocates significant resources to ensure that the tax affairs of the Group are sustainable, well governed and transparent.
Our approach to tax is guided by our purpose as a company: to protect customers, employees and society, to inspire confidence, and to help our stakeholders reach their full potential. It is also guided by our values, including a commitment to deliver on our promises and stand up for what is right. Our purpose and values are embedded in a responsible tax strategy, which is supervised by the Board of Directors and executed by the Group Executive Committee. The Group’s code of conduct is embedded into our responsible tax strategy and requires compliance with laws and regulations of all countries where the Group operates.
We are a significant contributor of taxes, both those borne by our own shareholders as well as those collected on behalf of tax administrations.
The Group actively manages tax obligations with the aim of minimizing unexpected adverse financial or reputational impact to the Group.
This is reinforced by:
- Employment of appropriately qualified and experienced people in key tax-related roles, with specific tax responsibilities and accountabilities included in their job descriptions.
- An organizational structure that supports and encourages the reporting and escalation of tax issues.
- A culture based on values and behaviors that encourages long-term ethical thinking.
- Having appropriate systems and processes in place enabling us to validate our understanding of relevant tax legislation, thereby strengthening our compliance with the tax laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate.
- Maintenance of a strong and transparent working relationship with the relevant tax administrations. Where possible, we will discuss new and complex tax positions or proposed changes in tax legislation with tax authorities in real time. In addition, we may request generally available statutory or non-statutory clearances from relevant tax administrations in respect of specific transactions where there is material uncertainty and/or where the transaction is material to the Group entity involved.
Total tax contribution reflects Zurich’s economic contribution to the economy in taxes - the direct and indirect taxes paid by Zurich (‘tax borne by the shareholders’) and those taxes that Zurich is legally obliged to collect on behalf of the tax administrations (‘tax collected’):