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HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs have jointly launched a consultation on proposed changes to the UK Patent Box scheme. The changes are being proposed in order to meet proposals developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to harmonise preferential tax regimes that operate in G20 states.
The consultation runs until 4 December 2015 and sets out the Government’s preferred approach to the new international framework set out by the OECD. The consultation will affect UK business that hold/exploit patents.
Due to some slightly compressed deadlines arising from the OECD, the Government’s plan is to publish proposed legislation in December 2015 and then a response to the consultation in spring next year. The current patent box rules will apparently be modified by legislation in the 2016 Finance Bill.
The consultation document includes some background on the existing Patent Box scheme. The Patent Box, which of course is a tax initiative that seeks to make the UK competitive for high-tech companies, has apparently seen 639 companies taking part so far and receiving benefits that total £335 million. (more…)