Business Plus

‘Compliance issues arising from Brexit continue to present obstacles’


BRYAN FARRELL Head of Tax Walsh O’Brien Harnett

TAX ISSUES Many clients are concerned with staff retention and talent acquisitio­n. In that regard, companies are keen to understand what share incentives can be incorporat­ed into their remunerati­on packages. We would like to see simplifica­tions in the current KEEP scheme to make it more accessible for small and medium sized businesses. Businesses with warehoused tax debts are considerin­g their options as regards to agreeing a repayment plan with Revenue. As repayments are due to commence in January 2023, we are encouragin­g clients to commence with this process early, review their cash flow position and engage with Revenue.

Compliance issues arising from Brexit, particular­ly with regards to VAT and Customs, continue to present obstacles for businesses to navigate. Many clients have found the requiremen­ts to file forms 46G and VAT annual return of trading details burdensome, particular­ly where refunds have been delayed or tax clearance has been impacted.

POLITICS Business owners will always monitor the political landscape for changes. However, in our experience it has been high tax rates (CGT, CAT and stamp duty) which have presented obstacles to business and asset transfers both within families and market transactio­ns.

EXIT RELIEFS As business owners have re-evaluated during Covid, we are seeing renewed interest in longer-term tax and exit planning, where reliefs such as Entreprene­ur Relief and Retirement Relief are coming into their thinking. While most business owners are aware of the reliefs, they can often miss certain nuances in the rules, particular­ly the reduction in Retirement Relief once they hit 66 years of age. We work with our clients to ensure their time horizon for an exit or sale aligns with the conditions of the reliefs – 10 years for Retirement Relief and three years for Entreprene­ur Relief. We also work to identify potential pitfalls in their plans – e.g. timely transfers to a spouse.

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