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Boosting the knowledge economy: the role of taxation in businesses’ choice of location of intangible property

Published on 01 Oct 07 by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE

Intangible property has become a key aspect of the modern economy with increasing focus by the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) and national regulators on the value stored in such assets. The changes to the identification and taxation of intangible property in the United Kingdom 2002 Finance Bill were said to be needed in order to clear up the confused and ad hoc rules applicable to intangibles. The Regulatory Impact Statement that accompanied the changes in Schedule 29 indicated inter alia that “[w]ithout reform, the UK would continue to treat intangible assets less favourably than many other countries to the disadvantage of companies based here.” The changes were welcomed and, despite early amendments required to deal with unforeseen consequences of the changes, appear to have been effective in improving the coherence and simplicity of the taxation of intangibles. This article questions whether the reforms have made the UK a more attractive place to do business using intangibles.

Author profiles

Prof Michael Walpole CTA
Photo of author, Michael WALPOLE Prof Michael Walpole CTA is the Head of School at the School of Taxation and Business Law (including Atax) in the UNSW Business School. Prior to academic life, Michael worked as a Tax Consultant with Ernst & Young, and prior to that he was in private practice as a legal practitioner (solicitor and barrister). As a partner in a small firm, Michael's legal practice was extremely varied, ranging from criminal defence, through family law and estate planning, to commercial and taxation matters. Michael has authored and co-authored several books including Proposals for the Reform of the Taxation of Goodwill, Understanding Taxation Law and Compliance Cost Control. Michael has also written and presented many papers on his research topics to practitioner and academic audiences in Australia and overseas. He is the editor of the Australian Tax Forum and he is also author and co-author of a number of articles on GST, taxation of intellectual property, tax administration and taxation compliance costs. He has been awarded the Hill Medal by the Australasian Tax Teachers Association (ATTA) for his contribution to tax teaching and is a past President of ATTA. Michael is an International Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Business Tax in the Said Business School, University of Oxford. In 2010 and 2012, he was engaged in a project at the Centre for Business Tax to study the role of tax in choices made by large companies when locating valuable intangible property. In 2012, Michael was also a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the OECD in Paris. While at the OECD, Michael worked on research projects related to VAT and to tax compliance costs and he continues to contribute to the work of the CTPA Indirect Taxes division. - Current at 30 May 2017
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Prof Michael Walpole CTA
Prof Michael Walpole CTA is the Head of School at the School of Taxation and Business Law (including Atax) in the UNSW Business School. Prior to academic life, Michael worked as a Tax Consultant with Ernst & Young, and prior to that he was in private practice as a legal practitioner (solicitor and barrister). As a partner in a small firm, Michael's legal practice was extremely varied, ranging from criminal defence, through family law and estate planning, to commercial and taxation matters. Michael has authored and co-authored several books including Proposals for the Reform of the Taxation of Goodwill, Understanding Taxation Law and Compliance Cost Control. Michael has also written and presented many papers on his research topics to practitioner and academic audiences in Australia and overseas. He is the editor of the Australian Tax Forum and he is also author and co-author of a number of articles on GST, taxation of intellectual property, tax administration and taxation compliance costs. He has been awarded the Hill Medal by the Australasian Tax Teachers Association (ATTA) for his contribution to tax teaching and is a past President of ATTA. Michael is an International Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Business Tax in the Said Business School, University of Oxford. In 2010 and 2012, he was engaged in a project at the Centre for Business Tax to study the role of tax in choices made by large companies when locating valuable intangible property. In 2012, Michael was also a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the OECD in Paris. While at the OECD, Michael worked on research projects related to VAT and to tax compliance costs and he continues to contribute to the work of the CTPA Indirect Taxes division. - Current at 30 May 2017
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