Thomson Reuters Publishes Best Practices to Maximize UK "Patent Box" Tax Relief

London - 5 June 2013

Free whitepaper provides tips to capitalize on tax reductions for patented-product income

The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today released a whitepaper outlining best practices for companies to maximize UK "Patent Box" tax relief. The new paper, Make Innovation Tax Deductible, identifies specific strategies companies may implement to best benefit from the tax advantages associated with new UK legislation that cuts the corporate tax rate on income derived from patented technologies.

Effective April 1, 2013, with legislation fully phased in by April 1, 2017, the "Patent Box" regime will reduce a company's headline corporate tax rate to 10 percent on goods protected by a patent, versus the 23 percent corporate main tax rate currently applied in the UK. While this new tax credit provides potentially significant tax savings for companies with large patent portfolios, a very specific protocol is required to ensure companies are maximizing the benefit of the new relief.

Key strategies outlined in the paper include:

  • Portfolio Alignment: A comprehensive patent portfolio audit, patent-to-product mapping and gap analysis must be conducted, enabling companies to demonstrate links between their IP portfolios and the specific UK-taxable revenues derived from each component part.
  • File Today for Yesterday's Tax Relief: Claims to "Patent Box" relief may be back-dated for up to six years. If, for example, a company files a patent on May 1, 2013, and it is granted in 2019, the company could add a deduction in 2019 for the intervening six-year period during which the patent was being processed. This may be sensible given the gradual application of the legislation.
  • Consider Licensing, Not Just Selling: A company that sells a patented product to its customer can only claim relief on the single sale. However, by licensing a patent to the customer, the customer may also be able to claim "Patent Box" rights and the upside shared.

"The benefit of Patent Box to companies with large patent portfolios is potentially enormous. However, navigating the UK tax regime and determining which patents may provide the best tax benefits can be complex and tricky," said Bob Stembridge, customer relations manager and IP analyst, Thomson Reuters. "By following the steps outlined in the Patent Box whitepaper, companies now have a roadmap for appropriately maximizing this benefit. Additionally, the Thomson Reuters IP Services team is helping numerous companies build and implement their Patent Box strategies to best apply the new legislation, providing another layer of assistance in navigating this new area."

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