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IMA urges government to simplify UK tax environment

The Investment Management Association has called for a ‘certain, predictable and simplified tax environment’ to boost UK competitiveness.

In its pre-Budget representations, the investment trade body highlights the need for a certain, predictable and simplified tax environment, a fair non-discriminatory treatment of offshore investment and initiatives to encourage savings and wise management of retirement income.

It is also calling for the abolition of the fund specific SDRT regime, a resolution of the VAT treatment of UK investment management services to offshore funds and an increased ISA limit of £9,600.

The fund specific SDRT regime is unique to the UK, making UK funds less marketable than their European counterparts. IMA believes the cost of abolition would be offset by the increased business and employment tax from the industry if funds were not domiciled offshore due to more favourable tax treatment.

The IMA is also calling for an urgent resolution to the VAT treatment of investment management services provided by UK firms to offshore funds to enable UK managers to recover the input VAT related to those services.

On the current issues surrounding pension provision, IMA is urging the Government to increase the ISA limit to £9,600 to reflect inflationary increases since its introduction.

IMA chief executive Richard Saunders says: “It is crucial that the UK industry remains competitive with both other fund domiciles and other potential investment management centres. We must ensure the UK’s tax regime is certain, predictable, simple and therefore competitive. Otherwise, we could be in danger of hindering the further development of the UK as a global centre for investment management, which would in turn impact the UK tax-take. We have made some progress on a number of points thanks to open dialogue with the Treasury and HMRC, and ask for further progress in the pre Budget report.”


A life in the day

Preparing, as I am, to take a couple of week’s R&R, I found myself preparing this column further in advance than usual. Foolish boy! If a week is a long time in politics, just recently a day has become a lifetime in markets.

The lessons of history

Credit crunch, economic weakness, volatile financial markets, high oil prices, inflation worries, rising unemployment, declining property prices, increasing government borrowing, rock-bottom confidence indicators, a stockmarket off more than 20 per cent…no, we aren’t talking about today but rather the situation that existed in late 1990.

Class action

Over the last few years, the prices of most asset classes have risen strongly and a major factor behind this has been the availability of cheap money. This continued to be the case until about a year ago. Almost all assets rose whereas their performance would normally have diverged to a greater extent. This process was driven by strong flows of liquidity into markets.


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