• UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Issues Annual Autumn Statement
  • February 16, 2015
  • Law Firm: Duane Morris LLP - Philadelphia Office
  • UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered his annual Autumn Statement on 3 December 2014. This Alert highlights the key contents of the statement, but the detail of the proposals will become apparent only on the publication of the Finance Bill next week. We will issue another Alert at that time.

    Companies that seek to avoid UK corporation tax by means of diverting their profits from the UK will be subject to a new regime, which imposes a 25-percent Diverted Profits Tax on profits that are "artificially diverted" from the UK. Details such as how this will operate in practice and what arrangements will be within the regime are currently unknown.

    The UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) regime will be reformed. The base calculation will alter so that SDLT rates apply on the portion of a property purchase price within that rate band. New rate bands will be introduced, with the highest two applying SDLT at 10 percent on consideration over £1 million and 12 percent on that over £1.5 million.

    Measures will be taken to address certain structures in the investment fund industry where guaranteed investment management fees are disguised as capital gains so that income tax is not payable. It is important to note that it is specifically stated that returns based on fund performance, such as carried interest, will not be affected by these changes.

    Those individuals who are resident but not domiciled in the UK face an increase in the charge applicable to use the remittance basis of tax. The charge will remain at £30,000 for those resident in the UK for seven of the previous nine tax years, but this will rise from £50,000 to £60,000 per year for those resident in the UK for 12 of the last 14 years. A new charge of £90,000 for those resident in the UK for more than 17 of the last 20 years will be introduced.

    Various anti-avoidance measures arising from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting initiative will be implemented into UK law, notably those areas involving common reporting and the use of hybrid instruments.

    UK capital gains tax will become payable on the disposal of UK residential property by certain persons not resident in the UK who spent minimal time at the property.

    The Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings, applicable to certain UK residential property owned by non-resident and non-natural persons, will be extended and increased.

    Domestic anti avoidance regimes will be extended so as to become more effective and robust.

    There are further announcements but the aforementioned are of most overall significance. As stated, a further Alert will be issued on publication of the Finance Bill.