Corporation tax: territorial scope etc

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 7th July 2016.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 4:00 pm, 7th July 2016

New clauses 11 to 17 will introduce the legislation announced in the 2016 Budget for a specific charge to income tax or corporation tax on profits from the disposal of land in the UK. The new clauses will ensure that offshore structures cannot be used to avoid UK tax on profits generated from dealing in or developing land in the UK.

New clauses 11, 12 and 15 will introduce new rules to ensure that profits generated by a company from dealing in or developing land in the UK will be chargeable to UK corporation tax. Those rules will apply regardless of the residence of the person carrying on the trade and regardless of whether the developer has a permanent establishment in the UK.

New clauses 13 and 14 will ensure that the profits generated by an individual from dealing in or developing land will always be chargeable to UK income tax. To prevent avoidance, the new charge will also apply where, instead of dealing in land, a developer sells shares in a company that carries on such developments. It will also apply where arrangements are put in place to split profits from development activity between the developer and related entities that could otherwise reduce chargeable allowance. In addition, the Government have strengthened long-standing rules on transactions in land to ensure that they can effectively counter abuse of the new rules.

To support those new rules, the Government are introducing an anti-avoidance rule to prevent manipulation between the policy announcement on Budget day 2016 and the introduction of the new clauses. The anti-avoidance rule is in new clause 16 for corporation tax and new clause 17 for income tax, along with other commencement and transitional rules. We have taken steps to amend our double taxation treaties; I am grateful to our partners in Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey for agreeing to make changes to those treaties, taking effect from Budget day 2016. These measures will raise £2.2 billion over the scorecard period and take effect from 5 July 2016; they will affect developers of UK property who choose to operate from somewhere other than the UK to reduce their tax bills. There will be no effect on companies, based in the UK or elsewhere, whose profits are already fully taxed in the UK.

The changes made by new clauses 11 to 17 will continue the Government’s fight against aggressive tax planning and profit shifting. They will bring the UK in line with other major economies and ensure fair treatment between UK and overseas developers.

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