EU Referendum: Your tax To Do list

EU Referendum: Your tax To Do list

Brexit or Remain: What will the tax impact be, and what should be on your ‘To Do’ list in the event of a Leave vote?


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From bunches of bananas to the wattage of your kettle, from the threat of an Emergency Budget to the waging of a naval battle on the Thames, this EU Referendum campaign has certainly had its share of headlines. Now we are at last in the final stretch and this time next week the result should be known. But what will the tax impact be, and what should be on your ‘To Do’ list in the event of a Leave vote?

Whether you wake up on 24 June celebrating or commiserating will of course be down to your personal view on whether we remain stronger with the EU or, without the constraints of the EU, we will be better able to flourish. But the result will also signal the end of a period of limbo for the business world and by Friday we should know whether the coming months (and years) will bring a return to some form of ‘business as usual’ in the event of a Remain vote, or some potentially substantial disruption - at least in the short term - in the event of a Brexit vote. 

If the decision of the Referendum is to leave the EU there will be much to consider in terms of the impact on your business. Whilst unlikely to have an immediate impact, tax will of course be an important factor. Here we set out our predictions for the top five items on your Brexit To Do list:

  1. Communication: It’s very likely that you will be charged with answering a great many questions on the tax impact of Brexit, long before there is any actual clarity on what future tax policy will look like.
  2. Supply chain: For those businesses which are highly reliant on trade within the EU and on the EU’s network of free trade agreements, this is one area where it will be possible (and indeed necessary) to quantify the impact of Brexit.
  3. Restructuring: Will Brexit prompt your business into restructuring (e.g. to better deal with regulatory threats or opportunities), or do you have a business restructuring or material investment decision which has been put on hold due to Brexit uncertainty? You may well now face pressure to firm up on plans.
  4. Treasury volatility: It is already clear that the financial markets are suffering in the face of Referendum uncertainty. Once the decision is known, there may be further significant movements in currency markets. If your business is exposed to such volatility, do you have a plan to mitigate this?
  5. Immigration: Whilst not strictly a tax issue, this is one of the most significant and hotly debated Referendum issues. Your HR colleagues may be calling for your support in assessing the broader implications for your business.

If we vote to leave the EU, there will of course be much to think about. We will continue to keep you updated and share with you our insights based on the work and discussions we have been having with clients over recent weeks. If you would like to discuss the impact on your business specifically, please do get in touch.

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