Many Shropshire businesses are reviewing their working arrangements in the aftermath of the Coronavirus lockdown.
And Matthew Orange, from Dyke Yaxley Chartered Accountants, said those reviews affected a whole range of areas of the business including HR, operations, facilities management and finance.
“As many sectors of the economy begin to re-open for business, a number of company owners are taking the opportunity to review their operations, particularly the potential benefits of longer-term home working both for staff and for the employers themselves.
“With so many people successfully working from home during the lockdown, businesses may also be re-evaluating their office space requirements going forward – and employers might take this chance to move to a new location or expand operations.
“Other business owners may be looking to sell their existing property and downsize to suit their now remote and agile workforce, or even convert their surplus commercial premises into something else.”
Matthew said the question was what would happen to the office blocks and commercial property that was no longer required.
“The VAT aspects of property transactions can be potentially tricky and the consequences of getting the details wrong can be costly.”
He said there were several possible scenarios with complex VAT considerations, including:
Purchasing an office space, pub or other commercial property with a view to converting it to residential property
Selling existing commercial property and buying new premises where an Option to Tax is in place
Ceasing to trade from existing premises and renting them out
Changing plans part-way through construction from selling once complete to renting out
A change in business activities from previously only taxable supplies to include some supplies which are VAT exempt (such as rental income)
“If you are thinking of making any changes to your working arrangements, no matter which area of the business is affected, it’s important to seek professional advice before you take any action – there may even be scope to make some tax savings with proper planning and support.”