Smiths Group might relocate because of tax fears

Engineering giant Smiths Group said it would ‘consider’ moving its UK head
quarters overseas because of the government’s proposals on taxing foreign

The company, which has 80% of its business abroad, announced it was closely
monitoring the Treasury’s plans to tax passive income from overseas

‘Whilst there is no current intention to move the domicile of the company
from the UK, the board is closely monitoring possible changes to UK tax
legislation given the very high percentage of profits generated overseas,’ said
chief executive Philip Bowman.

He also announced restructuring of the company with 65 job cuts across the
group and relocation of the current headquarters in North London.

The Treasury confirmed it had postponed publication of its consultation
document on possible changes from July to the Autumn; a sign it is bowing to
lobbying pressure.

The tax proposal changes have worried UK multi-nationals with operations
abroad and led to United Business media and Shire Pharmaceuticals relocating
their HQ from the UK to Ireland which has a tax friendly regime.

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