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EC says the UK is taking tax avoidance measures too far

EC says the UK is taking tax avoidance measures too far

The European Commission has requested that the UK amends its anti-avoidance and tax evasion measures.

Last week, the EC said that regulations regarding the attribution of gains to non-UK resident firms and the transfer of assets abroad were disproportionate. The Commission added that the UK regulations go beyond those that are reasonably necessary in order to prevent tax avoidance.

David Kilshaw, the chair of KPMG’s private client practice, said this could be a serious threat to the Treasury’s revenue as it concerns a significant amount of tax.

Current provisions allow for HMRC to review offshore structures and tax individuals holding assets in them at the personal tax rate. However, the EC says this is discriminatory as individuals are not liable to pay tax on the assets of a UK based company.

The EC also wants the UK to change the regulations regarding cross border capital gains. At present, if a company that is UK resident acquires a share greater than 10% of a company in another EC state, and that company sells an asset and realises capital gains, the UK company is liable to pay corporation tax on these gains.

Kilshaw also warned that HMRC might start to tax UK companies at a higher rate if it is forced to tax them the same as offshore companies.

If the UK does not comply with the request, the matter may be referred to the European Court of Justice.

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Image: high security by mugley

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