The government have recognised the growing importance of intellectual property held within groups of companies. Given that relief for intangible fixed assets has been in place since 2002, it is felt that the time is right for some reform in the rules which could be seen to hinder businesses. In particular, the restrictions on relief for acquired goodwill and the de-grouping charges arising within commercially driven group reorganisations.
Following consultation, the government will seek to introduce targeted relief for the cost of goodwill in acquiring businesses with intellectual property from April 2019. Furthermore, with effect from 7 November 2018, the de-grouping rules will be reformed so that a charge will not arise as a result of a share disposal that qualifies for the substantial shareholding exemption.
The detailed changes have yet to be published but the announcements are positive and welcomed.