Business Plus

‘The possibilit­y of Sinn Féin in government is definitely focusing minds’



TAX ISSUES This year there has been an increased focus on planning for the future and structurin­g clients’ personal and business tax affairs in a tax-efficient manner. This is probably a result of pessimisti­c commentary around a looming economic downturn and the curtailmen­t of tax reliefs to pay for recent and projected government spending. The common themes have been CGT reliefs, passing wealth to the next generation, streamlini­ng businesses, providing for the future, and pensions. The most common frustratio­n expressed on tax compliance is the number of filing dates. The large number of tax deadlines faced by all taxpayers needs to be considered and reduced.

POLITICS The last 15 years have seen a steady erosion of tax reliefs and tax planning options available to business owners and wealthy clients. The possibilit­y of Sinn Féin in government is definitely focusing minds and what we are seeing is clients re-evaluating tax strategies that have been discussed for a number of years and putting action plans in place. There is a growing consensus that irrespecti­ve of who is in government, no new tax reliefs or incentives will be announced in the near future and that now is the time to seriously plan for the future.

CAPITAL TAXES The funding of tax payments remains a difficulty for taxpayers. The most common approach to dealing with this is to defer transactio­ns with the hope that increasing values will leave the taxpayer with their desired after-tax proceeds.

TAX INCENTIVES The government currently has a golden opportunit­y to finance pro-growth tax policies for indigenous businesses. Availing of finance remains a significan­t challenge. In addition to this, high inflation and increased wage demands, combined with a ‘war for talent’ and economic uncertaint­y, means that many indigenous businesses will face unpreceden­ted challenges. A government unwilling to use the currently high corporate tax yields to implement policies that will allow indigenous businesses to survive and grow would be making a colossal mistake.

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