Accountancy Today: Why is the take-up of Patent Box tax relief still so low?

Date: September 10, 2019

Patent Box tax relief was phased in from 2013 with the full scheme in place by 2017, offering a reduced rate of corporate tax on all profits made from patents.

In fact, it offers a near halving of the rate of corporation tax paid on intellectual property (IP) related profits to just 10 per cent.

The aim is to incentivise the development of new patented inventions in the UK and build a competitive future economy.

For companies that either own or hold an exclusive licence for specific patents, who have carried out R&D to develop the underlying invention patented and who choose to exploit their patents commercially, election into the Patent Box could lead to a substantial reduction in the corporation tax payable on IP related income.

However, despite potential savings of tens, even hundreds, or thousands of pounds, the take up of the Patent Box tax relief remains very low.

Just over 1,000 Patent Box claims are made each year, compared to more than 5,600 patents granted on average every year between 2012 and 2017.

The 1,160 Patent Box claims made in 2015/16 had a total value of £754.3 million while the 1,025 recorded so far for 2016/17 are worth £942.5 million. This means the thousands of eligible companies who fail to claim are missing out on six figure sums.

So what are the barriers and misconceptions causing this low take-up?

Read more below

Why is the take-up of Patent Box tax relief still so low?

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