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In the OTS’s Small Company taxation report, we looked carefully at the idea of a lookthrough basis of taxation for small companies and talked to a lot of people about it. We found some strongly in favour – but also some strongly against. As our report set out, although eliminating the CT computation and return is useful, there would still be a need to do a taxable profits calculation; all the accounting and regulatory aspects are still there for the company; all profits would be taxed in full which potentially harms investment (though the Annual Investment Allowance must not be forgotten); and, if lookthrough is optional, that may simply mean more advice is needed and it probably just results in a ‘lower tax’ option which would be taken up only by those who would gain a tax benefit from it.
Consequently we concluded that lookthrough would not be a general simplification but that we could see some possibilities for a subset of companies. This paper develops our thinking and poses some questions for interested parties. We would be grateful for any thoughts you may have via email. We will be publishing our conclusions in a final report in early October.