Corporation tax for Paper P6 (UK)

Part 4 of 4

This is the Finance Act 2013 version of this article. It is relevant for candidates sitting the Paper P6 (UK) exam in 2014. Candidates sitting Paper P6 (UK) in 2015 should refer to the Finance Act 2014 version of this article, to be published on the ACCA website in 2015.

So far in this article Global Figurines Ltd (GFL) has begun trading, acquired an additional business in the UK and started a new manufacturing business overseas. In this part we consider the implications of the rate of corporation tax in Marineland being only 8%, such that the corporation tax liability in Marineland could be less than three quarters of the equivalent UK liability. It would then be necessary to consider the application of the CFC rules.

The CFC regime

As has already been noted, a CFC is a non-UK resident company that is controlled by UK resident companies and/or individuals. The CFC regime imposes a UK corporation tax liability, a ‘CFC charge’, on the corporate owners of a CFC where UK profits have been artificially diverted from the UK.

In determining whether or not there will be a CFC charge there are two matters to consider:

  • for there to be a CFC charge the CFC must have ‘chargeable profits’, and
  • there will not be a CFC charge if the CFC is covered by one or more of the exemptions.

Chargeable profits

Chargeable profits are those income profits (not chargeable gains) of the CFC, calculated using UK tax rules, which have been artificially diverted from the UK.

The exemptions
Even though a CFC may have chargeable profits, there is no CFC charge if one of the following exemptions applies.

  • Exempt period exemption – This 12-month exemption from the CFC rules can apply where a non-UK resident company is acquired by UK resident persons, such that it becomes a CFC. For this exemption to be available the company must continue to be a CFC for the accounting period following the exempt period but not be subject to a CFC charge.
  • Tax exemption – As has already been noted, the tax exemption applies where the local tax paid by the CFC is at least 75% of the amount of tax the CFC would have paid in the UK if it were UK resident.
  • Excluded territories exemption – This exemption applies where the CFC is resident in one of the territories specified as being excluded and certain conditions relating to its tax treatment in that territory are satisfied. This removes the need to prepare the detailed calculations necessary in respect of the tax exemption where the CFC is located in a tax regime with similar tax rates to the UK.
  • Low profits exemption – This exemption applies where the CFC’s profits do not exceed £500,000 and its non-trading income does not exceed £50,000.
  • Low profit margin exemption – This exemption applies where the CFC’s accounting profits are no more than 10% of its expenditure.

The CFC charge

If none of the exemptions is available, a CFC charge will be levied on UK resident companies (not individuals) entitled to at least 25% of the CFC’s profits. The charge is calculated as follows:

  • UK corporation tax at the main rate on the proportion of the CFC’s chargeable profits (the profits artificially diverted from the UK) to which the UK resident company is entitled
  • less a deduction for an equivalent proportion of any creditable tax.

Creditable tax consists of:

  • any double tax relief that would be available to the CFC if it were UK resident
  • any income tax suffered by the CFC on its income, and
  • any UK corporation tax on the income of the CFC that is taxable in the UK.

Applying the rules to an overseas subsidiary of GFL

If none of the exemptions is available, the CFC charge will be levied on the company’s chargeable profits, ie those profits which have been artificially diverted from the UK. If the chargeable profits are assumed to be £80,000, the CFC charge levied on GFL will be calculated as follows.

Chargeable profits80,000 
UK corporation tax
(£80,000 x 23%)
Less creditable tax
(£80,000 x 8%)
CFC charge12,000 


When answering a question in the exam, any reference to CFCs (or any other technical issue for that matter) must be in accordance with the requirements and the facts of the question. Accordingly, if a question concerned the proposed investment in Marineland as set out originally, the consideration of CFCs should be brief as, due to the rate of corporation tax, any subsidiary in Marineland would not result in a CFC charge due to the tax exemption.

The corporation tax issues relating to groups are considered in two further articles:

  • Corporation tax – Group relief for Paper P6 (UK)
  • Corporation tax – Groups and chargeable gains for Paper P6 (UK)

Written by a member of the Paper P6 examining team

The comments in this article do not amount to advice on a particular matter and should not be taken as such. No reliance should be placed on the content of this article as the basis of any decision. The author and the ACCA expressly disclaims all liability to any person in respect of any indirect, incidental, consequential or other damages relating to the use of this article.