Monday, 10 December 2012

Autumn Statement & IP

Not a lot in last week's Autumn Statement for IP, but I thought I'd cover what was there:

  • removal of income tax relief for individuals paying non-trade patent royalties (s448 ITA 2007). This has been taken out because the Treasury felt it was being misused for tax avoidance – it only applied to individuals who paid patent royalties otherwise than in the course of a trade, so it wasn't often claimed in any case.  It affects any individual holding patent licences as an investment – it won't affect anyone owning patents outright, as they would not generally be paying royalties where they own the patent outright.
  • £600m towards Research Council infrastructure and facilities for applied R&D – this seems to be new money, although it's not quite clear from the documents released so far.
  • And finally, the proposed reduction in corporation tax to 21% in 2014 will benefit any profitable IP companies, although it's not specifically aimed at the sector.
The draft Finance Bill (due to be published tomorrow) should also have details of the proposed 'above the line' (ATL) R&D credit which will replace the current large company R&D tax relief – the key feature of the ATL credit is that it will be repayable to loss-making large companies (at least, in theory – the draft Bill should reveal whether companies are actually likely to get repayments in practice).

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