Tax strategy and governance
The Pearson Code of conduct sets the standard against which we develop our tax strategy. Our code requires all Pearson companies to comply with the laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate and this includes taxation payments to governments.
We paid £151m in corporation tax globally in 2011. We also pay significant amounts of other types of tax to local, regional and national governments; these include employer taxes, VAT, sales taxes, and customs duties as well as other local taxes.
In addition to complying with our Code of conduct, tax strategy reflects our business strategy and the locations and financing needs of our operations. In common with many companies, we seek to manage our tax affairs in order to maximise the value of the company. We are committed to comply with all statutory obligations, to undertake full disclosure to tax authorities and to follow agreed policies and procedures with regard to tax planning and strategy.
Oversight of tax strategy is within the remit of the audit committee, which receives a report on this topic at least once a year. All of the audit committee members are independent non-executive directors. The chief financial officer is responsible for tax strategy; the conduct of our tax affairs and the management of tax risk are delegated to a global team of tax professionals. The chief financial officer is also the board member responsible for corporate responsibility matters.