Tax issues prompt 26pc of large firms to consider leaving the UK

OVER a quarter (26 per cent) of large businesses are considering a full or part relocation abroad, with Britain’s high and complex taxes remaining their main cause for complaint.

More than half (58 per cent) of the businesses eyeing a move to foreign shores cited tax issues as a leading factor, according to research by HMRC.

Around one in five (19 per cent) of those considering a move cited general business tax issues as their primary complaint, while 13 per cent said that more favourable tax conditions in other countries had prompted them to consider a move.

Over three quarters (78 per cent) of HMRC’s “large business service” customers said that the administrative burden of tax compliance had increased from 2009 to 2010.

“Lack of certainty is also a serious concern for large businesses, yet the government repeatedly tinkers with the tax system,” said Roy Maugham, a tax partner at UHY Hacker Young.

“The increase in the supplementary charge on North Sea oil and gas companies announced at this year’s Budget, without any consultation or warning, is just one example. “The government needs to start making headway on tax simplification,” Maugham added.