Tax report due today

Solicitors in Belfast and Northern Ireland will be paying close attention to the release of the Varney Report today, which is set to detail the tax measures available to government to bolster Northern Ireland's economy.

Sir David Varney, the chairman of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), will present the report to Stormont and solicitors in Belfast and Northern Ireland will be watching to see if any of the news will affect their corporate clients.

Despite the fact that ministers will be hoping for a cut in corporation tax in order to encourage foreign investment, Sir David is unlikely to back the proposals for fear of upsetting the UK, which could withdraw benefits from the province.

Ministers have been calling for the government to cut capital gains tax from 30 per cent to 12.5 per cent, which is the same rate as in the Republic of Ireland.

Although ministers are expected to be disappointed regarding corporation tax, Belfast and Northern Ireland solicitors will still be taking note of the report as it could offer proposals for other tax incentives for corporate clients investing in research, development and training.

Regarding capital gains tax, chancellor Alistair Darling has announced that changes in the law will only come into force in the New Year.

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