PM Brown to make tax proposals at summit

Gordon Brown will this week ask the G20 leaders to back his proposal for rules that stop multinational companies using offshore centres as tax havens.

According to press reports, Brown will ask the leaders to single out companies that place valuable intellectual property – such as patents, industrial designs and branding – in tax havens. The rules will also affect financial services institutions, including insurance companies, that use offshore centres.

Howard Jones, partner at accounting firm Mazar, warned against targeting companies with legitimate operations. “Insurance companies will move to wherever there is capital and skill. We must make sure we don’t lose any more,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Geneva Association, which represents the world’s 80 largest insurers, has warned G20 finance ministers not to treat insurers in the same way as banks and called for greater co-operation between national regulators.