Great Portland Estates is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which allows us to enjoy taxation benefits.
As a REIT, we are largely exempt from corporation tax in respect of our rental profits and chargeable gains relating to our property rental business. The remainder of our business is subject to corporation tax in the usual way.
The REIT regime aims to enable shareholders to replicate the tax treatment of a direct investment in property by removing the historical "double-layer" of taxation, when company rental profits and chargeable gains relating to a property rental business were taxed at both the company and shareholder level.
To maintain our REIT status, we must meet certain conditions. These include minimum levels in respect of interest cover and the proportion of our total profits and assets that relate to our property rental business.
As a REIT, we are required to distribute by way of a dividend at least 90% of the income profits (broadly, calculated using normal tax rules) of our property rental business each year - this distribution is known as a "Property Income Distribution" ("PID").
Download an explanation of the tax consequences for shareholders of our REIT status. PIDs must be paid subject to a 20% withholding tax unless exemptions apply (principally UK resident companies, UK charities, UK public bodies, UK pension funds and the managers of PEPs, ISAs and Child Trust Funds).
Shareholders who wish to claim exemption from deduction of withholding tax on PID dividend payments should follow the guidance on our website. Most shareholders, including all individuals and all non-UK residents, do not qualify for an exemption from deduction of withholding tax.