The Chancellor’s first full Budget was light on genuinely new measures of interest to corporates. A number of measures announced as part of the 2016 Autumn Statement were confirmed or further clarified. These include the new restrictions on corporate interest deductibility, reform of the corporation tax losses regime and the changes to the UK’s SSE (each effective from 1 April 20171 ). See here for links to our earlier commentary on these measures.
• Withholding tax exemption for debt traded on MTFs: it was announced that interest on interest-bearing securities issued by companies admitted to trading (and not listed) on a multilateral trading facility (MTF) should not be subject to UK withholding tax. The existing quoted Eurobond exemption from UK withholding tax requires that the debt is “listed”. Under a consultation document published by HMRC on 20 March 2017 it is proposed that the new exemption would be limited to MTFs on regulated stock exchanges regulated in EEA territories. The new exemption would, it is hoped, increase the competitiveness of UK MTFs.
The proposed exemption is to take effect from April 2018. The consultation document can be viewed here.
• Double Tax Treaty Passport (DTTP) scheme – update: it was announced that the DTTP scheme would be updated as from 6 April 2017. A subsequent consultation response, published on 20 March 2017, confirmed that from that date the scheme will be available to:
– all UK borrowers that have UK withholding tax obligations. This will include partnerships, individuals and charities (ie not just corporate borrowers)
– “Transparent” lenders, provided that all beneficial owners of the income are eligible for the same treaty benefits and are resident in the same jurisdiction
– sovereign and pension fund lenders, again provided that all beneficial owners of the income are eligible for the same treaty benefits and are resident in the same jurisdiction.
The consultation response document can be viewed here.