BusinessCompany NewsCall to stem company exodus

Call to stem company exodus

The government is being urged to stem the tide of UK-based multi-nationals leaving because of proposals to tax the passive income of foreign subsidiaries

John Cullinane

Compliance costs: John Cullinane

The calls follow Shire Pharmaceutical’s decision last week to change tax
residency from the UK to Ireland because of uncertainty about the possible new
regime.

Senior tax figures believe Treasury officials have got their priorities wrong
by forgetting that corporation tax raises 10% of the UK’s total tax income, a
better yield than any tax gained from overseas entities.

Bill Dodwell, head of tax policy at Deloitte, said: ‘We would like to see the
focus on protecting the UK tax base, rather than on charging UK tax on overseas
income. The UK should offer a favourable tax route for this mobile income to
encourage companies to be based here.’

John Cullinane, former president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation,
agrees: ‘There will be lots of compliance costs to delve down into what foreign
companies are earning. There’s already anti-avoidance legislation to stop
companies shoving cash to foreign subsidiaries and not paying tax.

‘They should look at tax collection and really need to protect this, rather
than taxing intellectual property and other passive income around the world.’

Other companies which have moved their UK HQ recently include Shell,
Experian, Invesco and insurers Hiscox and Omega.

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