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Holding companies – Could they help you to reduce your corporate tax bill?

There are many reasons to have a holding company, but many business owners don’t realise the tax advantages that come from setting one up.

What is a holding company?

A holding company is created to own and control other companies, either partially or fully. The holding company does not actively conduct business operations itself, unlike a trading company. Instead, it simply controls other companies.

Regardless of the percentage of shares that the holding company holds, it is known as the parent company. Whilst the acquired company is known as a subsidiary.

The advantages of a holding company

A holding company can manage the risk involved when investing in other companies, as well as protect your assets.

Subsidiaries are classed as separate legal entities from their holding company, meaning that you would not be liable if your subsidiary is subject to a lawsuit, for example.

A holding company can also protect you, the business owners, from the risks involved, should an investment fail. For instance, if a subsidiary faces insolvency, the risk to the rest of the business is minimised.

There are also tax benefits associated with having a holding company, such as if your company owns over 10 per cent of the shares of another company for a certain period of time and you decide to sell your shares, there is usually no tax due on any gains.

You also have the opportunity for dividends to be passed between subsidiary companies and the holding company without being subject to tax.

If your holding company, along with 75 per cent of the subsidiaries, form a Capital Gains Group, you can minimise any losses by transferring capital assets to another company in the group, without increasing the chargeable gain.

However, opting to set up a holding company is not the best option for every business owner, and the decision to do so should be assessed in line with your circumstances and goals.

If you want to learn more about the potential tax savings offered by holding companies, please contact your Seymour Taylor representative today or email our business tax advisors Liza Rowles liza.rowles@stca.co.uk or Gavin Styles gavin.styles@stca.co.uk or call       01494 552100.

This blog is for guidance only, professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. The information was correct at the time of publishing 20th July 2022.