DRAFT FINANCE BILL: KEY POINTS

● R&D TAX CREDIT: HM Treasury has introduced a “patent box” – a reduced corporate tax rate of 10 per cent for earnings from patented products, which is aimed at encouraging innovation in science and tech.

● NON-DOMS: Non-doms will get tax relief on cash they bring into the country to invest in UK companies, although not for investment in other ventures, but there was widespread disappointment over the Treasury’s decision to delay changing the definition of a non-dom.

● TAXING FOREIGN PROFITS: The Treasury’s changes make for a significantly more generous regime. Most noteworthy is the shift to a presumption that overseas’ subsidiaries’ profits are not liable for UK tax unless proven otherwise, which is the opposite of the previous stance.

● CAPITAL GAINS TAX: The allowance for gains that are exempt from CGT will now rise in line with the lower consumer price index, not the retail price index.

● TAXATION OF INSURERS: The whole tax regime for insurers is being overhauled to simplify it, but PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Jonathan Howe warns that it “remains very complex”. He adds that the decision to abolish life assurance premium relief amounts to a cost of £14 per policy.

● TAX SIMPLIFICATION: While many recommendations by the Office of Tax Simplification will be acted upon, such as the abolition of tax relief for “cycle to work days” and “luncheon vouchers”, late-night taxi expenses will continue to get relief.

● REITs: The draft bill relaxes the rules on what can qualify to become a real estate investment trust (REIT), opening the door for listed firms to re-classify themselves as REITs and abolishing the entry charge of two per cent of the entity’s assets.

● SME INVESTMENT: The Treasury aims to make it easier for small to medium sized firms to get financing, by expanding the enterprise investment scheme