Shropshire businesses are facing a raft of changes when it comes to their tax affairs, a local specialist has warned.
Francesca Hutcheson is Tax Director here at Dyke Yaxley Chartered Accountants, with offices in Shrewsbury and Telford, and she has called on local companies to focus on tax-related issues in order to plan their strategy for the year ahead.
“Now that the self-assessment filing deadline has passed, it’s the ideal time for businesses to start to refocus and concentrate on their tax affairs.
“Most importantly, we’re heading towards the biggest change to tax compliance in a generation – Making Tax Digital, which takes effect from April 1st. From that date, all VAT submissions to HM Revenue and Customs must be filed online, but at Dyke Yaxley, we are still seeing a large proportion of businesses who are just not equipped to deal with the changes ahead.”
Francesca said March would also see an important date for research and development (R&D) tax relief applications.
“This valuable relief underpins investment in UK innovation but for new claimants, there is a limited window to look back and lodge a retrospective claim. For a company with its year-end in March, the deadline for revisiting the March 31 2017 accounting period is fast approaching.
“And in the same month, we can’t avoid it – Brexit. There is no doubt that businesses of all sizes need to evaluate what the future holds for their trading operations after March 29th.
“There is obviously a lot of uncertainty around exactly what will happen after Brexit, but businesses still need to do their best to be prepared. In the event of a no-deal Brexit for instance, SMEs will need to keep a close eye on their working capital to manage any changes to VAT and customs payments that may occur.”
Francesca also said businesses should look at their Annual Investment Allowance – a temporary increase to £1 million came into effect in January allowing asset-intensive businesses to relieve the costs of their capital expenditure against their taxable profits.
“Businesses with a year-end in any month other than December will need to carefully consider the timing of any expenditure before claiming the relief in the period which spans January 1, 2019.
“Now, more than ever, businesses need to keep on top of their tax affairs to make sure they don’t overlook any opportunities to streamline their tax bill.”