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Costco Tax Strategy

This document sets out the Tax Strategy of Costco UK Holdings Limited and its subsidiary companies, together referred to as ‘Costco’. The disclosure is in the format prescribed by HM Revenue & Customs (HRMC).


The Tax Strategy applies to all UK taxes applicable to Costco, including corporation, capital gains, Pay As You Earn, national insurance contributions, value added, and import, customs and excise duties.


Costco’s Tax Strategy is to:

  • Comply with all relevant laws, rules and regulations.
  • Disclose appropriate information to the tax authorities.
  • Utilise available tax reliefs and incentives where available in a manner which is consistent with Costco’s overall business strategy and tax laws.
  • Apply professional care and diligence in the management of risks associated with tax matters and implement and administer appropriate controls so that procedures are in place and operating effectively.
  • Maintain an open and honest relationship with the tax authorities.

Approach to risk management and governance of UK tax

Costco takes what it intends to be a low-risk approach to tax planning. Internal controls are maintained to reduce risk of noncompliance. Tax risks are maintained on risk registers and their materiality assessed, with greater review of areas with a higher risk of error or larger values.


All tax submissions are reviewed by senior management. For more complex areas consultants are engaged to assess computations and the reasonableness of any claims submitted.

Attitude to tax planning

Costco will not engage in artificial transactions, the sole purpose of which is to reduce its tax burden. Costco will consider undertaking a transaction in a way that gives rise to tax efficiencies providing this is aligned to business strategy and complies with the relevant tax legislation.


Costco does not employ an in-house team of specialist tax professionals. Where there is an area of significant judgement or doubt guidance is sought from experienced, suitably qualified and regulated external advisory firms.

Level of risk accepted

Costco takes what it intends to be a low-risk approach to taxation and is conservative in its approach to claiming available allowances, only submitting a claim where the available evidence supports such claims.

Dealings with HMRC

Costco is subject to HMRC’s Business risk review process and has been given a low tax-risk rating by HMRC. Costco’s aim is to maintain its low tax-risk rating and the Company seeks to achieve this aim through:

  • Submission of all tax returns on time.
  • Paying the appropriate amounts of tax at the right time.
  • Maintaining tax accounting procedures and controls that are robust and comply with the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) provisions.

Costco is committed to maintaining an open and honest working relationship with HMRC. Costco aims to be transparent and in cases of interpretation issues or complexity notify HMRC of and resolve potential issues.

This Tax Strategy has been published in accordance with paragraph 16(2), Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016 and relates to the accounting period ending 2 September 2018.