Double tax treaties push Henderson Far East from Jersey to London

Jersey-based Henderson Far East Income Limited is studying a move to London to become a UK based investment trust in a bid to cut costs and benefit from a more generous tax treatment.

In relation to the UK’s dealing with countries in the Asia Pacific region, it has a greater number of double tax treaty agreements, this means companies are only taxed once, not twice.

The £443m company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that the Asia Pacific region is “subject to overseas withholding taxes” and rule changes which now mean UK-based companies are able to access lower rates of withholding tax in some jurisdictions than a Jersey resident company.

“The board has therefore concluded that, subject to appropriate tax, regulatory and shareholder approvals, it will benefit the company and shareholders if it becomes UK tax resident and becomes classified as a UK investment trust in order to avail itself of these treaties,” it said.

Any proposed move is subject to shareholder approval.

Henderson Far East was originally based in London but moved offshore in 2006 to improve its tax efficiency as overseas income was subject to UK corporate tax at 30% at the time. It currently earns investment income from a diversified portfolio of investments traded on the Pacific, Australasian, Japanese and Indian stock markets.

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