Tax implications of the UK’s new freeports explained

Eight new freeports offering significant tax incentives will start operating across England by the end of 2021. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty is hosting a free webinar for its members outlining the potential benefits and pitfalls for businesses.

In the 2021 Budget, the Chancellor announced the locations of eight freeports that would be opened before the end of the year, including in Teesside, Plymouth, Liverpool and the East Midlands.

These secure customs zones are located around ports (sea or air) and operate different customs rules to the rest of the UK. Such zones enable governments to offer customs benefits and tax incentives to businesses to encourage economic growth in specific areas.

Although the UK has previously had some freeports, now that UK has left the EU, the government has greater freedom to design the scheme and make the tax incentives more attractive.

In the new iteration of freeports, each site can have a diameter of 45km and can include up to three tax sites within which businesses are eligible for a number of tax incentives.

The Tax Faculty’s Frank Haskew and Richard Jones are hosting a free webinar on 12 August, to help faculty members get to grips with how UK freeports work and the tax benefits available.

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