UBM set to move tax base to Ireland

United Business Media, the global media group, is close to announcing that it will move its tax base to Ireland in a switch likely to prompt a fresh storm of criticism of the Government's taxation of companies with international businesses.

UBM is in the final stages of planning the move and could announce the switch as soon as this week. It already has an office in Dublin, which was set up at the end of last year via a Luxembourg-based company, and recently appointed Alan Gillespie, the chairman of Ulster Bank Group, as a non-executive director. The company, whose assets include the PR Newswire business, an international events concern and a string of media groups around the world, will say it is moving to Ireland because it now earns 85 per cent of its revenues from activities outside the UK.

It is the second major British company to relocate its tax base to Dublin in the space of a month, with Shire Pharmaceuticals unveiling a similar move just two weeks ago.

The announcements come in the context of an ongoing review of how British companies are taxed on profits made by foreign subsidiaries. Ministers have been investigating reforms of the rules on "controlled foreign companies" since the end of 2006 and HM Revenue & Customs is expected to announce firm proposals for reform before the summer.

While the review was prompted by an adverse European Court of Justice on the current tax regime, leading accountants believe the new rules are likely to make the tax affairs of British companies much more complex and that the tax take from controlled foreign companies could rise significantly.

The only details of the reforms in the public domain so far were published in an HMRC discussion document last summer, the substance of which unnerved many accountants specialising in the area. Tim Steel, a corporate tax expert at Ernst & Young, said: "Many taxpayers believe the proposals are far from revenue-neutral and that the [new] rules will result in significantly increased revenues."

However, UBM is believed to be as concerned about the complexity of the new regime as its potential tax bill, a point also made by Shire. British companies are examining Ireland as an alternative tax base because of its geographical proximity, the fact that English is the business language there and because the country's tax rules are considerably more simple.

The CBI has made repeated warnings this year that British companies are considering moving their headquarters elsewhere in the face of concern about taxation. The business group seized on Shire's decision to relocate as evidence of its arguments and is likely to step up its campaign once UBM's move is formally announced.

However, the Treasury has rejected any suggestion that it intends to use its review of foreign controlled companies as an opportunity to increase the tax revenues earned from such businesses. It has promised any reforms would be "revenue neutral".

UBM last night refused to make a comment.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee