Only 22 companies left UK for tax purposes

ONLY 22 companies left the UK because of tax reasons in the past four years, the government has said.

Responding to a question from Conservative MP Mark Reckless, Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said that 22 companies moved their headquarters away from the UK for tax reasons since 2007/08. Research taken by HM Revenue & Customs showed that ten left the UK in 2008/09, and seven the following year.

The most high profile of these were advertising company WPP, publishing firm UBM and pharmaceutical company Shire. WPP and UBM have said that measures in the Budget – including the cut in corporation tax and moves to reform the controlled foreign companies legislation – meant that it was likely they would move their tax base back to the UK from Dublin. Shire told Accountancy Age that it would “review these interesting proposals” before making a decision.

Bill Dodwell, head of tax at Deloitte, said that he would have guessed this number would be higher.

However, he added: “The problem is that several of those would be FTSE100 and others would be FTSE250. The key point is that if they didn’t come back, they would move further [functions] overseas.”


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