Updated on August 29, 2018
The Sony Group conducts its business, including managing its tax obligations, honestly, ethically and with integrity. Sony Group Code of Conduct defines that it is Sony’s policy to comply with all applicable tax laws and regulations of each country and region where Sony conducts business as well as the common rules and guidance regarding international taxation. Sony understands and complies with the laws and regulations that apply to their work.
Based on the above global tax policy, each Sony group company has the responsibility to understand and comply with tax laws and regulations applicable to its businesses, with support from the group’s Global Tax Office (the GTO), which is in charge of Sony’s overall tax position. The global head of the GTO reports directly to Sony Corporation’s Chief Financial Officer based in Japan.
The GTO has implemented a series of processes and controls to identify, manage and report tax risk appropriately. These include regular updates with Finance teams; documented review processes; regular training for staff involved in tax return preparation and review; and regular updates with the global head of the GTO.
Transactional taxes such as VAT and sales taxes, Customs Duty, Employment Taxes and others are the ultimate responsibility of the relevant divisional Finance Director. The GTO has strong links with these divisional Finance Directors to ensure that in the event of material risks being identified or errors made, the GTO provides support including where necessary liaising with the relevant tax authority.
Sony operates diverse businesses within a complex global environment, in which tax is an important factor. Sony believes in taking a principled and responsible approach to managing its tax affairs, in line with business objectives. The tax function provides appropriate input as part of the approval process for business proposals to ensure the tax consequences are clearly understood. Sony is committed to fulfilling its obligation both to comply with applicable tax laws and to safeguard Sony’s reputation.
The jurisdictions in which Sony does business may offer various tax incentives such as enhanced deductions, credits and exemptions for certain types of income and expense to meet local policy objectives such as encouraging inward investment. Sony believes it has a duty to its shareholders to take advantage of such incentives where they are generally available to all taxpayers who meet the relevant criteria and the requirements to claim the incentive do not conflict with broader business objectives.
Sony employs diligent professional care and judgement in assessing tax risk, and may take advice from third-party specialists and where appropriate consult with or obtain rulings from relevant tax authorities to support the decision-making process. However, tax law is not always clear and unambiguous, and differences in interpretation can arise. Sony monitors its tax positions closely and will not record an accounting benefit unless it determines based on consideration of the facts and the law that it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained.
Sony seeks to maintain good professional relationships with tax authorities. When providing responses to Tax Authority questions, all responses are based on an honest and accurate representation of the facts as Sony understands them.
Sony prepares and files annually a country by country report in accordance with Japanese law and prepares and files a transfer pricing master file in accordance with the laws of the countries where Sony does businesses.