There were two announcements significant to the mobile industry in the UK government’s autumn statement released today [03/12/2014]: plans to get large multinational tech firms to pay more tax and a review into business rates.
Chancellor George Osbourne didn’t say specifically how it work but said that the government was looking for large multinational firms to pay their ‘fair share’. Describing who the proposals targeted the chancellor said that it was ‘some of the largest companies in the world including the tech sector’ that used ‘elaborate structures to avoid paying taxes’.
UK government also announced that it would review business rates, which could be good news for those in mobile retail if the current oft-criticised system is changed.
Reacting to the autumn statement Julian David, CEO of techUK, said: ‘Today the Chancellor made it clear that tech has a fundamental role to play in the UK’s long-term economic future. The focus on skills, exports, science and infrastructure will all help the UK to compete successfully in the global digital economy. The UK tech sector has been an engine for growth over the last five years and today’s announcements will strengthen its long-term prospects, particularly in the North.
‘The missed opportunity of today was the failure to provide greater backing of the UK as a world leader in the Internet of Things (IOT). This will be the next internet revolution. Countries like China and India are now outpacing the UK in the race to seize this £4.6trn opportunity. We call on the government to look at this issue again.
‘On the proposed ‘Diverted Profits Tax’, it is clear that over many years global corporate tax rules have become outdated, complex and opaque. The way to remedy this is not through unilateral action but through international cooperation to make rules simpler and more transparent. Today’s announcement is part of an ongoing international process through the OECD which techUK supports.’