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Taxing the Intangible: Overview of global approaches and a review of recent policy changes in the UK

Published on 01 Oct 03 by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE

This paper examines the current approaches to taxation of intangibles in three different jurisdictions: Australia, the US and the UK, with a primary focus on the UK. The first part of the paper outlines the economic impact of various intangible assets. It then outlines the accounting issues related to intangibles as a foundation to an overview of the current tax treatment of intangible assets and goodwill in the three jurisdictions largely built on these accounting principles. The paper then focuses on the recent changes to UK legislation for taxing intellectual property, goodwill and other intangibles. The paper illustrates that, whilst these changes were important, they by no means go as far as they may have gone, given existing knowledge in the area and even the apparent desires of the policy makers in proposing the tax reform in this area. It however, illustrates a promising trend in the process of tax reform debate.

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
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
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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