BMW exploits offshore tax loophole

The Munich-based group has transferred Land Rover’s assets to aJersey-registered company to side-step stamp duty on the sale of Land Rover toFord, the Independent on Sunday has reported.

BMW signed a memorandum of understanding with Ford over its Land Rover sale whenit agreed to sell Rover to Alchemy and faces a 4% charge on the predicted £1.8billion sale.

The new Channel Island company will allow BMW to legally avoid paying theliability. The transaction is believed to have taken place two weeks ago.

The legitimate tax dodge comes just a month after chancellor Gordon Brown chosein his Budget to leave stamp duty loopholes open – despite mounting calls thatbillions of pounds of tax revenue is lost each year as companies shedsubsidiaries and carry out routine tax avoidance.

A spokesman for BMW yesterday told the Independent on Sunday that thetransaction was ‘normal’ practice.

BMW have to prove that asset transfer occurs before sale arrangements are inplace, but the Revenue could force a showdown if they prove that the Fordmemorandum was a sale arrangement.

Exclusive: Alchemy’s switch to UK standards could cut Rover losses

Related reading