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Calls for withdrawal of patent box

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At a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels on 9 July, Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German finance minister, called for the withdrawal of competitive tax breaks for patents in the UK and other EU countries. According to Reuters, Schaeuble said that patent box schemes were at odds with EU rules designed to deter discriminatory tax rules.

Richard Asquith, head of tax at TMF Group, commented: ‘The UK’s patent box scheme has been a big hit. It is not the best scheme in Europe, but combined with the rapidly falling UK corporation tax rate, due to drop to 20% by 2015, it makes the UK very much the front runner for European hi-tech investment.’