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Kent is the place to be for business!

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You would expect an article penned by a firm of tax advisers to concentrate on our favourite subject. We shall of course make mention of the attractiveness of the UK corporate tax regime, however, we recognise that tax is just one factor to be assessed when making decisions about business investment writes Margaret Connolly, Partner and Head of Taxation at Reeves.

Fortunately, the UK has a number of significant non-tax advantages from the perspective of international business. These include an open and politically stable society, the benefits of common law jurisdiction, and a well educated workforce that supports an enviable reputation in scientific discovery and technological innovation. There is also the English language.

If a man cannot live by tax reliefs alone, they are nonetheless important. The recent UK Budget was billed as being fit for an “aspiration nation”. It contained a number of measures of interest to potential inward investors.

The main rate of Corporation Tax (CT) has now fallen to 23%; it is scheduled to contract to 21% from 1 April 2014 and to 20% from 1 April 2015 – indeed the UK now has the lowest CT rate in the G20.

If we turn to consider tax reliefs, the already generous system of R&D Tax Credits (a 225% super-deduction for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) has been further enhanced by allowing larger companies to obtain a repayable “above the line” credit from 1 April 2013. The theme of encouragement to innovation is further underlined by the introduction, again from 1 April 2013, of the Patent Box regime. This will allow corporate income and gains generated from patents (or products containing patented components) to be subject to a special CT rate of 10%. In addition a number of new tax reliefs have been introduced or are in contemplation, to attract certain creative industries to establish in the UK, namely video game design, animation and high-end television production.

Finally, the 50% rate of personal income tax for those earning in excess of £150,000 was reduced to 45% from 6 April 2013.

These enhancements build on what was already a strong base. In almost all circumstances, UK companies can receive inbound dividends on a tax free basis, whilst the UK does not impose withholding tax on outbound dividends. Furthermore, the UK has the world’s most extensive network of Tax Treaties.

Having convinced you that the UK is the place to be, why should you come to the South East in particular? The area offers all the advantages set out above and some very special ones all its own. You can either live in London, our vibrant capital, or on its doorstep in one of the nearby counties. You can even reside in rolling countryside on the very doorstep of continental Europe.

The South East has in abundance all of the support structures needed for business success, from a vibrant technological base to effective and keenly priced professional services. Of these, the tax advice available is especially good!

For further information, please contact Margaret Connolly on 01227 768231 or by emailing