Recent changes to the UK tax system aimed at improving its attractiveness to businesses are paying dividends, according to KPMG in the UK. The firm is working with almost 100 businesses that are actively considering locating operations in the UK.
Jane McCormick, Head of Tax and Pensions at KPMG in the UK, said: “The sea change in sentiment towards the UK’s tax system as attractive to business is evidenced by the fact that we are currently talking to almost 100 businesses around the world about locating activities here. It’s only four years ago that UK listed companies were announcing they were quitting the UK. Today, overseas businesses are lining up to come here.”
The 94 businesses KPMG is currently working with cover a wide range of activities but the most common are pharmaceuticals, consumer markets, diversified industrials, manufacturing, automotive, oil & gas, and the financial sector.
The nature of the projects is also diverse. In terms of the types of activity that these businesses are looking at, the two most common are using the UK as a location from which to hold international operations and using the UK as a centre for business operations. In addition, KPMG is working with a number of businesses looking to move their headquarters to the UK, moving to the UK as part of a wider acquisition structure, using the UK as a centralised intellectual property hub or establishing in the UK as the principal hub in its wider supply chain.
“What is particularly striking about the projects we are currently discussing with overseas businesses is the breadth and variety of activities and locations within the UK that they cover,” said McCormick. “London and its financial services centre is well known as an international hub but many of these projects are looking at operations outside the capital in sectors such as manufacturing, consumer goods and diversified industrials. The value of being an attractive destination for business is in the employment and economic activity that is generated and the level of interest that we are seeing suggests that the policy of making the UK more attractive from a tax perspective is working.
“Every project that comes to fruition will generate additional tax revenues in the UK, which is of course a very positive development for the Government and the Treasury.The level of interest in the UK and the seriousness with which it is being considered suggests that the projects we are engaged in will result in real jobs and real economic activity coming to the UK,” she said.