KPMG Survey Suggests Progress on UK Tax Competitiveness

According to Andrew Goodall, at the Tax Journal, the UK’s corporate tax competitiveness ‘appears to have finally turned a corner’, KMPG said as it summarised the findings of a survey of 50 large businesses operating in the UK.

In 2009 only 17% of respondents said the UK had ‘the most competitive tax system compared to key competitors’ but the corresponding figure in this year’s survey was 27%, the firm said.

‘Our survey supports the assertion that Britain is “open for business” at least as far as corporate tax is concerned,’ said Chris Morgan, the newly-appointed Head of Tax Policy at KPMG in the UK.

‘Thanks largely to the reforms in progress around the way in which foreign profits are taxed and the government’s commitment to making the UK tax regime the most competitive in the G20, the UK’s tax competitiveness appears to have begun to improve.’

The ‘complexity and compliance burden’ remained too high, Morgan added. Fewer companies were actively looking at moving but ‘they have become more footloose; more firms have not ruled out the prospect of moving their tax residency or particular functions in the future’.

In a recent Tax Journal round table discussion on tax competitiveness and reform of the controlled foreign companies regime, Ian Brimicombe, Head of Group Tax at AstraZeneca, noted that ‘very positive’ UK tax reforms had been overshadowed by the global economic downturn.

‘I think the UK is making the right steps to attract a greater proportion of global business and should put itself in a very competitive position when the global economy does recover,’ he said.

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