The UK is flying off the shelves: 60 headquarter relocations expected in next 18 months, predicts EY

25 November 2013

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  • EY is now aware of over 60 multinational companies that are looking to complete global and regional headquarter relocations into the UK in the next 18 months.
  • 12 months ago EY was working with 40 such companies – 20 of these have already completed, and the pipeline has been rapidly building.
  • If all of the significant transactions were to execute, the UK could expect over £1bn of additional annual corporation tax revenues.
  • Over 5,000 extra high value jobs would be created in the UK workforce.

London Monday 25 November 2013: John Dixon, EY’s UK head of tax comments:

“The UK is flying off the shelves. 12 months ago we were working with 40 multinational companies that were looking to undertake global and regional headquarter relocations into the UK. But the pipeline has been building rapidly. Over half of these transactions have already completed and we now expect over 60 companies to come to the UK’s shores in the next 18 months, creating jobs and boosting economic growth prospects.

“Confidence in the global economy is improving and has oiled the wheels of these transactions, but the acceleration is also the result of tax reform, both at home and abroad - a powerful tool to change corporate behaviour.

“Crucially, Government, the Treasury and HMRC continue to provide visible support for the UK tax regime. The Controlled Foreign Companies (CFC) reforms; changes to the headline rate of corporation tax; and a patent box regime that encourages intellectual property ownership, are increasing the UK’s ability to compete for inward investment. Added to the PM’s recent trade delegations, this helps to send a very clear message that the UK is open for business.

“The OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action plan, which marks an important step towards ensuring that tax laws are coordinated and appropriate to the ever-changing commercial world, is also having a significant impact. Low tax, low substance locations have become much less attractive, and companies are beginning to look at the UK as an alternative.”

Concluding Dixon added: “The UK appears to be moving ever closer to achieving its ambition of creating one of the most competitive corporate tax regimes in the G20. As domestic and international tax policies continue to evolve in response to the ongoing fair tax debate, the challenge will be to ensure that the message remains undiluted and that we continue to build on the momentum. It’s vital that businesses hear a consistent message on tax from across all areas of government over the coming months.”