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Until the Summer Budget 2015 when you purchased a business (not its shares) into a limited company from an unrelated party you could write off the goodwill (Intangibles) against your corporation tax but that has now changed and you can’t, another tax relief bites the dust!
The Policy Statement reads as follows…
In accounting terms, purchased goodwill is the balancing figure between the purchase price of a business and the net value of the assets acquired. Goodwill can therefore be thought of as representing the value of a business’s reputation and customer relationships.This measure removes the tax relief that is available when structuring a business acquisition as a business and asset purchase so that goodwill can be recognised. This advantage is not generally available to companies who purchase the shares of the target company. The current rules allow corporation tax profits to be reduced following a merger or acquisition of business assets and can distort commercial practices and lead to manipulation and avoidance. Removing the relief brings the UK regime in line with other major economies,reduces distortion and levels the playing field for merger and acquisition transactions.
Since 6th April 2008 and until 3rd December 2014 Sole Traders and Parternships were able to claim Entrepreneurs Tax Relief on Goodwill when becoming a Limited Company.
Until the 3rd December 2014 they would claim there Capital Gains Allowance
|5 April 2013 to 6 April 2014||£10,900|
|5 April 2014 to 6 April 2015||£11,000|
Then claim ER which reduced the rate of tax to 10% on the gain.
But from the 3rd December they will now pay Capital Gains at the normal rates of CGT which are 18% or 28% (for Higher Rate Income Tax Payers).
This doesn’t change the potential ability of the company to offset goodwill against their Corporation Tax Return.
There are still other benefits related to goodwill as explained in this blog
Lets start with a typical scenario:
- Mr Smith has been running a small garage for a few years
- he decides to incorporate his business and sets up Smiths Garage Limited with himself as the sole director and shareholder
- he transfers the goodwill of the business and its other assets and liabilities to Smiths Garage Limited but does not claim incorporation tax relief under Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act (TCGA) 1992, s162, nor does he claim hold-over relief under TCGA s162
- at the time of incorporation, the goodwill of the business is valued at £100,000
- Mr Smith makes a chargeable gain on the transfer of the goodwill, which is deemed to be at market value, of £100,000 which, after deducting the annual CGT exemption (£10,900 2013-14), will be taxable at 10% due to the availability of entrepreneur’s relief
- the company will pay Mr Smith £100,000 for the acquisition of goodwill and this is done by way of a credit to Mr Smiths director’s loan account. Mr Smith is able to draw down on this account without any further tax charges.
In addition Mr Smith started his Sole Trader business after the 1st April 2002 so he can claim a corporation tax deduction for amortisation of the goodwill in the company accounts. Small Companies pay Corporation Tax at 20%, so being able to deduct Goodwill on £100,000 will save £20,000 in Corporation Tax.
However, please bear the following in mind:
- If the business started before 1st April 2002, Corporation Tax Act 2009 s895 prevents the company from claiming a deduction against corporation tax, also refer to HMRC Spotlight 1: Goodwill – companies acquiring businesses carried on prior to 1 April 2002 by a related party
- Where a trader transfers his business to a limited company of which he is a ‘substantial shareholder’, the parties are treated as ‘related parties’ and the transfer must be at market value, but you can ask HMRC to carryout a post transaction valuation check by submitting form CG34
- Goodwill relating to personal services is not normally considered to have a market value as it can not be transferred
- In general it is expected that intangibles will have a useful life of no more than 20 years
- Get professional advice to help you to prepare the valuation, disclose the capital gain and claim the tax relief