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Preparing for the patent box

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Action needs to be taken in advance of the introduction of the UK patent box, which takes effect from April 2013. Like a growing number of incentives, a lot of ‘non-tax’ information will need to be collated by a company’s tax function before a claim can be made. Tax directors will need to obtain information identifying the qualifying patents that the company holds (including by way of exclusive licence) and check that the requirements of the legislation are met. Information will be needed in respect of R&D expenditure for the four years prior to the company electing into the regime. The definition of a ‘group’ for patent box purposes is much broader than for other CT purposes and may hold some traps for the unprepared. Companies with patent box losses may be better off delaying entry to the regime.

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