Offshore Receipts in Respect of Intangible Property

Part of Finance (No. 3) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 20th November 2018.

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Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General 4:15 pm, 20th November 2018

As a UK Government, we are always happy, and indeed keen, to work co-operatively with the devolved Administrations, including the Scottish Government, as my hon. Friend suggests. Ultimately, however, these will be decisions for the Scottish Government to make. It will be for them to decide how to spend the revenues that will come through by way of additional funding via the Barnett formula. I can only suggest once again—I think this echoes my hon. Friend’s thoughts—that the best way forward is to keep taxes down and, in the case of Scotland, to have a country that is known for low taxation, rather than gaining a reputation for higher taxation.

Clauses 46 and 47 address the use of contrived arrangements that seek to avoid stamp duty on shares. The Government are aware that some corporate groups are transferring shares to connected companies for an artificially low consideration. The clauses create a targeted marketed value rule for transfers of listed shares to connected companies. This rule will prevent the use of artificially low consideration by charging stamp taxes on shares on the higher of the market value of, or the sum paid for, the shares transferred.

The Bill also re-emphasises our commitment to leading the way in implementing internationally agreed initiatives to combat tax avoidance. Clauses 19, 20 and 23 make changes to the UK’s rules on controlled foreign companies, hybrid mismatches and corporation tax exit charges to ensure that they comply with the EU’s anti-tax avoidance directive. The UK is a strong supporter of the objectives of the directive, as it will ensure that member states take a common approach to tackling tax avoidance. The UK’s rules are already comprehensive, and they already meet or exceed most of the requirements set out by the directive, but some limited changes are needed to ensure that we are fully compliant in all areas.