WPP to quit UK over tax changes

WPP is planning to move its tax domicile to Ireland in retaliation to expected changes to the UK tax regime. The group’s chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, is due to make the announcement this week.

The world’s second largest marketing services group will follow the lead taken by pharmaceuticals company Shire and media group United Business Media, which both decided to move their tax domiciles from Britain to Ireland in April, in response to planned tax changes on foreign earnings.

A number of UK-based multinationals have said that too much of their foreign profits falls into the tax net under rules regarding tax avoidance.

WPP conducts almost 90% of its business outside the UK and paid £204m in tax last year and believes changes to the UK tax law could add tens of millions of pounds to its tax bill. WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrel (pictured) has previously said that redomiciling the group could save it between £60m to £80m a year.

A WPP spokesman says it is likely to issue a stock exchange announcement this week.

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