Government launches review into UK funds regime; consults on overseas fund rules

Jonathan Stapleton
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Government launches review into UK funds regime; consults on overseas fund rules

The government has launched a review into the UK funds regime in a bid to ensure the ongoing competitiveness and sustainability of the sector.

As an initial step in this review the government announced it would review the VAT charged on fund management fees.

It has also launched a consultation to gather evidence and explore the attractiveness of the UK as a location for the intermediate entities through which alternative funds hold fund assets.

The government said that despite the general attractiveness of the UK corporation tax system for holding company structures, there remain barriers to the establishment of these intermediate fund entities in the UK which do not exist in some other jurisdictions - leading to these entities being located outside the UK.

It added there was a view within the asset management industry these barriers could be addressed through "low-cost, targeted changes".

The government said it is prepared to make legislative changes in response to its consultation if it could be demonstrated they could bring "clear benefits" and facilitate the flow of capital, income and gains between investors and underlying investments via UK asset holding companies.

But it said it was not prepared to make changes that took significant amounts of existing UK taxable income or gains out of the scope of taxation in a way that was inconsistent with the principles of the existing tax system or created unprotected risks of abuse and avoidance.

Separately, the government has also launched a consultation on the overseas funds regime following the UK's departure from the EU and the end of its passporting regime at the end of the transition period.

The government had already introduced a temporary regime to allow EU funds to continue marketing in the UK in a similar way for a limited time after the end of the transition period, after which the funds will have to gain permanent market access into the UK.

The consultation sets out the government's proposal for a new process for allowing investment funds domiciled overseas to be sold to UK investors, to replace the existing regime. The proposed "overseas funds regime" will introduce two new regimes based on the principle of equivalence: one for retail investment funds and one for money market funds.

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