New fears about REITS

Lobbyists for the commercial property industry have reitereated fears that Real Estate Investment Trusts have been put on the back burner due to concerns about tax avoidance.

Link: Property industry calls for tax renegotiation

The Times reports Liz Peace, of the British Property Federation, saying that the tax issues are threatening to overwhelem the REITS project: ‘I remain optimistic that Treasury ministers will see the broader economic benefits of introducing REITS.

‘But I am concerned there has been far too much focus on possible tax losses, which I believe we have shown the Treasury to be not the case.’

The Treasury fears that overseas investors will be able to avoid paying tax on UK property assets due to receiving rental income in the form of a dividend, which can attract little or no withholding tax.

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