Schedule 29 - Gains and losses of a company from intangible fixed assets

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 13th June 2002.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 10:00 am, 13th June 2002

I do not see that such conflicts are likely. We will be dealing in later amendments with a divergence in practice between the USA and the UK. However, the measures draw directly on established accounting rules and practices, so they give us a consistent code under which to operate the tax relief system. We therefore have some certainty that they will operate securely and give us the assurance that we need as we move away from the previous approach, under which tax rules were specified in legislation.

Under the new regime, disposals of intangible assets will be taxed on an income basis. To ensure that companies have an incentive to reinvest, however, a roll-over relief will apply where disposal proceeds are reinvested in new intangible assets. As I explained, that feature is a direct result of consultations during our preparation of the provision.

Intangible assets that companies held on 1 April this year—the date on which the new provisions came into effect—will generally be taxed under current law. That treatment responds to concerns expressed during the consultation by business and experts, who felt that existing capital gains assets should remain subject to the capital gains rules and should be grandfathered on any future sale. Disposals of such assets will, however, qualify for roll-over relief under the new rules for intangibles, rather than under the capital gains roll-over relief.