Aberdeen to pursue tax row with HMRC

ABERDEEN Asset Management is taking its long-running £8m tax dispute to a new tribunal hearing.

The claim, which attempts to overturn an £8m tax ruling related to an options scheme used to compensate chief executive Martin Gilbert and other senior staff, is expected to be heard before the Upper Tax Tribunal later this month.

It comes after Aberdeen’s appeal to a lower tribunal failed.

HM Revenue & Customs had originally demanded the fund pay £10.5m, later reduced to £8m, in taxes and national insurance relating to the payment of bonuses through discounted share options between 2000 and 2003.

The fund manager, which has a stock market value of £2.17bn, insists it acted within the law.

Recent figures showed clients pulled £800m from Aberdeen’s funds in the two months to the end of August amid market volatility. Assets under management fell to £176.9bn.

Strong demand for global emerging market and global equities strategies and other higher-margin pooled funds is expected to push annual profits to the top end of analysts’ forecast range of £262m and £297m.