For companies, the taxation of intangible fixed assets acquired or created after 1 April 2002 is governed by CTA 2009, Part 8. This regime was introduced in Finance Act 2002. However, restrictions to the tax relief under the 'new regime' was introduced for asset purchases on or after 8 July 2015 as discussed further below. Prior to Finance Act 2002, there was no harmonised regime dealing with the taxation of corporate intangibles - this continues to be the case for 'old' corporate intangibles.
As the tax treatment of intangible assets for companies is considerably different between the old and new regimes, it is crucial to determine which set of rules applies.
The UK Government launched a consultation into possible reform of the corporate intangibles regime on 19 February 2018. The consultation aims to examine whether there is scope to simplify the existing regime and make it more effective in supporting the competitiveness of the UK in attracting international businesses. The impact on businesses of the 2015 changes (see below) is to be explored as part of the consultation. Some commentators have speculated that this might bring about a reinstatement or partial reinstatement of relief for future acquisitions of goodwill, customer-related intangibles and other 'relevant assets'. Companies and their advisers should monitor developments as it might impact the nature and timing of future business acquisitions. The consultation closed on 11 May 2018. Further detail on the specific aspects of the regime being consulted on is discussed in 'Consultation on intangibles: finally...', by Ashley Greenbank in Tax Journal on 7 March 2018.