Compliance and Policies
As Europe’s largest landlord, we are aware of our social responsibility and see ourselves as responsible taxpayers.
Vonovia’s tax strategy formulates the fundamental understanding of our own tax responsibility and the corresponding behavior in tax matters and defines these tax strategy goals in a binding manner:
“Vonovia is also aware of its social responsibility in terms of its contribution to the financing of the community and is committed to it. At the same time, Vonovia has a responsibility to its shareholders and other stakeholders to limit the tax and duty burden to the level required by law.
To achieve this,
- Vonovia uses legally permissible tax structures in coordination with the Company’s overall strategy and without taking disproportionate risks;
- Vonovia controls tax risks through tax-efficient global and local business and management processes in strict compliance with tax regulations and continuously monitors and improves these processes;
- Vonovia is uncompromisingly committed to compliance with tax regulations;
- Vonovia maintains a modern, first-class tax function with the CFO as an active supporter;
- VNA represents a fundamental partnership relationship with the tax authorities in the public sector”.
As a multinational company, we have subsidiaries in various countries. These are not vehicles for tax optimisation, but are necessary for our operational business activities in these countries. Vonovia does not use so-called tax havens. Tax evasion and tax fraud are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
We have committed ourselves to a transparent compliance and disclosure policy towards the tax authorities and strive to maintain a professional relationship with the tax authorities and to act as a trustworthy partner.
Management of the tax function, control and risk management
The Management Board of Vonovia SE is responsible for the Group’s business strategy, of which our tax strategy is an integral part. Responsibility for the tax function has been delegated to the Head of Tax. The Chief Financial Officer of Vonovia SE is regularly informed by the Head of Tax on all major tax issues and their current and future impact on the Group’s financial figures. The Chief Financial Officer of Vonovia SE regularly informs the Supervisory Board of Vonovia SE about the most important tax issues and the assessment of the tax risk.
Vonovia has implemented an internal Tax Compliance Management System (TCMS) which is used to centrally manage and monitor tax risks. The Head of Tax regularly informs the CFO (ad hoc if required) about the status of risk assessment and the implementation of risk limiting measures/controls. Responsibility for day-to-day tax business lies with the Group Tax Department at Corporate Tax, which also acts as the tax department for Germany and coordinates the Group’s foreign tax functions, where these exist.
Cooperation with the tax authorities
Vonovia attaches great importance to trusting and transparent communication with the tax authorities and follows clear processes. We submit all tax returns and other required documentation, such as transfer pricing documentation, correctly, completely and on time. We regularly seek certainty about our tax positions and obtain internal or external expertise to review and validate our position.
Reporting by country
Vonovia’s tax expense in 2020 were EUR 1,674.4 million. Of this amount, EUR 1,631.3 million were deferred taxes, EUR 57.7 million were current taxes and EUR -14.6 million were current taxes not relating to the period. The taxes for 2020 amounting to Euro 1,689.0 million are distributed among the following countries.
- Germany: Euro 1,573.0 million, thereof Euro 1,521.8 million deferred taxes and Euro 51.2 million current taxes
- Austria: EUR 56.2 million, thereof EUR 53.2 million deferred tax and EUR 3.0 million current tax
- Sweden: EUR 56.3 million, of which EUR 55.6 million deferred tax and EUR 0.7 million current tax
- Netherlands: EUR 1.9 million, of which EUR -0.9 million deferred tax and EUR 2.8 million current tax
- Luxembourg: EUR 1.6 million, of which EUR 1.6 million deferred tax
Current taxes of EUR 57.7 million are included in Group FFO at EUR 52.4 million, with EUR 5.3 million being attributable to sales of the non-core portfolio. The current taxes included in Group FFO were incurred in the following countries.
- Germany: EUR 46.1 million
- Austria: EUR 2.8 million
- Netherlands: 2.8 million
- Sweden: 0.7 million
Please refer to the Annual Report for the tax rates applicable in the individual countries of domicile and the effective tax rate of the Vonovia Group.