Compass, the catering company, has become the latest company to say it is
considering an HQ move as a result of proposed tax changes.
Richard Cousins, the chief executive, said that a team had been looking into
the move but promised no ‘snap decisions. Of course, we are looking at it, all
companies are. I get the impression that it is on everyone’s agenda,’
The comments follow announcements by several companies that they are leaving
the UK to become tax resident in Ireland. Both Shire, the pharmaceuticals group,
and United Business Media have said they are leaving due to the foreign profits
change being mooted.
The UK government is trying to prevent companies putting income-producing
intellectual property into offshore havens to dodge tax. But its mechanism for
doing so, by taxing ‘passive’ income, has worried UK businesses who fear the
rules will cast a wider net than intended.