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Stora Enso’s operations generate value through taxes for governments around the world. In 2019, Stora Enso paid again more than EUR 1 billion into public sectors, including EUR 767 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’.
As a responsible and prudent taxpayer, 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.
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.
In 2019, Stora Enso paid EUR 1 265 million (1 276 million in 2018) in taxes to governments in countries where the Group has operations. A total of EUR 498 (489) million was paid directly by the Group (taxes borne) while EUR 767 (787) million was collected on behalf of governments (taxes collected).