The Patent Box

The UK Government has been keen to improve the UK’s competitiveness in the high-tech arena. This was largely motivated by a string of departures of UK headquartered multinationals from the UK. In its 2009 Budget, the Government announced the possibility of introducing an effective rate of corporation tax reduced to 10% for income from patents, commonly referred to as the ‘Patent Box’.

The current UK Government has continued with the aim of the UK becoming the most competitive tax system in the G20 by making substantial changes to the tax system through what it has termed its ‘corporate tax road map’. Those changes include reducing the rate of corporation tax, reforming the UK’s controlled foreign company legislation and changing the way in which tax relief is given for research and development expenditure. In addition, in November 2010, the Government confirmed that in order to encourage companies to locate high value jobs and activity in the UK, it would proceed with the proposed introduction of the Patent Box. At that time, the Government also launched an initial consultation on the design of the Patent Box. Building on the responses received to that consultation, the Government issued a further consultation on the detailed design and proposed scope of the Patent Box in June 2011. This was followed by draft legislation in December 2011, just under two years after its introduction was originally announced…

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