Stora Enso’s operations generate value through taxes for governments around the world. In 2017, Stora Enso paid more than EUR 1 billion into public sectors, including EUR 797 million in collected taxes.
Stora Enso aims to be transparent with respect to economic value generation. For this purpose, Stora Enso makes a voluntary commitment to openly provide details of the taxes paid by the Group to governments in its main countries of operation. This commitment to our stakeholders is fully in line with Stora Enso’s values to ‘Do what’s right’ and ‘Lead’.
Stora Enso is committed to ensure that the Group observes all applicable tax laws, rules and regulations in all jurisdictions where it conducts its business activities. Stora Enso follows international transfer pricing guidelines and local legislation. In addition to our legal and regulatory requirements, our tax principles comply with our values. Furthermore, we seek to ensure that our tax strategy is aligned with our business and commercial strategy. We only undertake tax planning that is duly aligned to economic activity. This means that all tax decisions are made in response to commercial activity, and tax is only one of many factors that are taken into account when making business decisions.
As with any other business expense, however, we have an obligation to manage our tax costs as part of our financial responsibility to societies and shareholders. We are therefore willing to respond to tax incentives and exemptions granted by governments on reasonable grounds, and we currently have operations in countries that offer favourable tax treatments, where their location is also justified by sound commercial considerations.
Stora Enso has operations in the following locations that offer favourable tax treatments:
- The joint operation Montes del Plata operates a pulp mill in a Special Economic Zone in Uruguay.
- Stora Enso’s two forestry companies in Guangxi, China are entitled to exemption from corporate income tax and value added tax on their sales, and our related industrial company will benefit from reduced tax rates until 2025.
- Stora Enso owns a dormant company in Luxembourg with equity of EUR 2 million, which is a remnant of a former legal structure.
- Stora Enso conducts business, mainly consisting of sales services, in the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Hong Kong.
- For logistical and operational reasons, pulp from the group’s joint operations in Brazil and Uruguay is traded via a pulp sourcing and marketing company based in the Netherlands.
Our commitment to tax transparency is also reflected in our relationships with tax authorities and governments. We seek to work positively, proactively and openly with tax authorities on a global basis, aiming to minimise disputes and to build confidence wherever possible.
Stora Enso’s tax footprint
In 2017, Stora Enso paid EUR 1 236 (1 241) million in taxes to governments in countries where the Group has operations. A total of EUR 439 (452) million was paid directly by the Group (taxes borne) while EUR 797 (789) million was collected on behalf of governments (taxes collected).