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
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Sport
football
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk