WPP considered leaving UK over tax

WPP has suggested it might leave the UK for tax reasons and relocating in
Ireland for tax purposes.

Sir Martin Sorrell, the FTSE 100 group’s founder and chief executive, said
that the move could cut the group’s £200m tax bill by tens of millions of pounds
a year.

The news of the plans came yesterday as Alistair Darling launched a review of
the UK tax system’s competitiveness.

The advertising group has said it will decide after examining the Treasury’s
proposals to tax foreign profits, final details of which are expected in July.

Darling has put together a group of individuals from the private sector to
advise on business tax issues.

The review follows decisions by pharmaceutical giant Shire and United
Business Media (UBM) to relocate headquarters to Ireland for tax reasons.

Drugs group
AstraZeneca is also
not ruling out relocation, according to the Financial Times.

KPMG warned yesterday of
the ‘danger of a bandwagon effect’. John Griffith-Jones, head of KPMG Europe,
told the FT that HM Treasury was concentrating on closing loopholes but ‘they
need to look at this through a corporate lens…the fact is, the shop down the
road is selling [business taxation] for less’.

Further reading:

CBI calls for tax rethink to stop multi-national

UBM move angers Treasury

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