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“Are you ready for the new tax year?” asks PKF Francis Clark

With the tax year end fast approaching, it is time to turn your mind to whether there are any measures you can take prior to the beginning of April, which may improve your tax position.

PKF Francis Clark has produced a personal tax year-end planning guide and a corporation tax year-end planning guide which run through some simple housekeeping actions to get your affairs in tip-top shape for the coming year.

Tax advice isn’t just for the very rich – as the uprating of numerous allowances and rate bands fails to keep up with inflation, more and more people are being brought into the scope of higher taxes and some very simple and basic rearrangements of their affairs can result in savings. We are not speaking here about the type of complex ‘schemes’ that HMRC is likely to challenge, but simple uncontentious measures such as using all of your available allowances and reliefs, and planning the timing of gifts or disposals, to ensure that you minimise any tax payable. Making pension contributions and charitable donations can also legitimately reduce tax, whilst saving for the future. PKF Francis Clark’s private client teams specialise in advising clients on simple measures to ensure they pay the correct amount of tax.

For companies, 2017 was a year of significant change, with a radical re-working of the loss relief rules, the introduction of the corporate interest restriction on which HMRC has released a huge 489 pages of guidance, changes in the rules for obtaining the substantial shareholdings exemption and the uncertainty caused by a general election, which meant that a number of measures which took effect from 1 April were not actually legislated for until November. PKF Francis Clark’s Finance Bill 2018 analysis runs through the upcoming changes in detail.

And this is all before we start to consider what impact Brexit will have on businesses.

Lisa Macpherson, Head of Tax Technical at PKF Francis Clark said “While no-one knows what rules will change as a direct result of leaving the EU or from a removal of the perceived ‘shackles’ of EU legislation, we do know change is on the horizon and that businesses need to be mindful of what they can do now, to mitigate the risk of adverse consequences.

“We have a team of international tax specialists, including customs duty and VAT specialists who will be able to help you establish the likely consequences for your business and any actions you can take now to mitigate these. Our Brexit guide sets out what we know so far and what you can do to prepare.”

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