United Utilities suffers £200m tax hit

Water company United Utilities is expecting to take a £200m tax charge in
2008/2009 as a result the decision to scrap capital allowances on industrial

‘The company is forecasting a one-off deferred tax charge in 2008/09 relating
to the abolition of industrial buildings allowances.

‘This one-off adjustment is anticipated to be over £200 million and is likely
to result in a significant increase in the effective tax rate for the year
ending 31 March 2009,’ the water utility told the stock market in a trading

Companies have been able to claim an allowance of 4% on the cost of
industrial construction. If the structure contained fixtures that were
classified as plant and machinery an allowance of 25% was also available.

The decision to scrap capital allowances by Gordon Brown in his last Budget
in 2008 will hit water companies especially hard as they embark on large
programme of capital investment in water infrastructure.

Further reading:

the trading statement here

Q&A: Tim Weller, FD of United Utilities, on its
latest results

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