Groups: leaving the regime: termination by notice and early exit
Group REIT gives notice
If the principal company of a Group REIT wants the group to leave the UK-REIT regime, itdoes so by giving notice to HMRC (section 128 as modified for groups by paragraph 23Schedule 17 FA 2006). In practice, this notice should be sent to the tax office that dealswith the company.
There is no prescribed form for the notice: the only requirements are that it should begiven in writing [or electronic equivalent] and it must specify the date on which thecompany wishes the regime to cease to apply to the group.
The date specified in the notice for cessation of the regime must be after the date of thenotice. Note that under the cessation provisions in section 131 as modified for groups byparagraph 26 Schedule 17 FA 2006, the accounting periods of GM (tax-exempt) and GM(residual) will come to an end (see GREIT11310). (GM(tax-exempt) etc is the part of a group member that carries on tax-exempt business).
HMRC gives notice
The rules for when and how HMRC can issue a notice to a Group REIT that the regime willcease to apply to it (section 129 FA 2006) are the same as for single company UK-REITs– see GREIT06025 – except that the notice is servedon the principal company of the group and not on each or any of the group members.
Exit within ten years of joining
If a group has been a UK-REIT for less than ten years, the timing and/ or theconsequences of leaving may be different. If the principal company gives notice undersection 128 FA 2006 for the group to leave the regime, then the tax treatment of ringfence assets sold within two years of leaving may be affected – see GREIT06040.
The same rule applies if a company that has been a member of a Group REIT for less thanten years sells a tax-exempt property within two years of leaving the group.
If the termination was by HMRC giving notice under section 129 FA 2006, or automatic undersection 130 FA 2006 as a result of breaching Company Conditions 1,2, 5 or 6, then thetiming of leaving the regime and the tax consequences can be altered by direction of HMRC– see GREIT06045.