Are you ready for Brexit?

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As the media coverage of brinkmanship and negotiation with the EU reaches fever pitch, business owners are pondering the realities of the country's impending departure from the EU. This huge political event will influence our economy and way of life, but how will it affect you and how you run your business, and are you ready for the change? Read our latest article to find out more...

The transition period runs out on 31st December 2020, which means that from 1st January 2021, the way you run your business may need to change. Exactly what changes you must implement will depend on what type of business you run, whether you trade with the EU and whether you have employees.

Check, Change, Go

The government has set up an area on the gov.uk website called “Check, Change, Go” where you are invited to answer a series of questions about you as an individual and your business, if you run one. The answers you give to these questions will direct you to relevant reading and create a checklist just for you, to enable you to complete the changes you need to make before 1st January.

Clearly, you don’t want anything important to be missing from your checklist, so make sure you have a full understanding as to how your business runs before answering the questions. You will need to know things such as whether you import from and/or export to EU countries and, if you have any employees, whether any of them are EU citizens.

There are some changes to note with Northern Ireland, since it is important that Brexit does not create a ‘hard border’. So, if you have any dealings with Northern Ireland, it will be necessary for you to gain an understanding as to how these might change after 1st January 2021 and how they might be different to the way in which you run things with partners in England, Wales and Scotland or the rest of the world.

Regulatory

If you are in an industry which is governed by standards and regulations, be aware that there are non-regression clauses in the withdrawal agreement. The net effect is that the UK will not be able to bring in lower standards on labour, social and environmental regulations. Therefore, any EU standards you were previously required to meet can be expected to be the same or more stringent after 1st January 2021.

It is currently a little unclear whether business access to funding and financial products will be affected by Brexit. The UK and EU have been carrying out equivalence assessments during the transition period. After 1st January 2021, EU market access for UK firms will be based upon equivalence, which means mutual recognition of the other’s regulations. This can be withdrawn with 30 days’ notice. Equivalence does not currently cover basic products and services such as bank lending, but there is a chance that the equivalence umbrella could widen and include basic products and services in the future.

Employment

If you have employees who are EU citizens, you can use the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme Employer Toolkit to support them in applying for "settled" or "pre-settled" status. EU citizens are eligible for "settled" status if they have been resident in the UK for 5 years. "Settled" status will confer the right to remain permanently in the UK. Family members of anyone with "settled" status will also be protected. Anyone who has been in the UK for a period of less than five years is entitled to apply for "pre-settled" status and remain until they have accrued 5 years of residency.

Given the impending deadline, it may be wise to get onto the government’s Check, Change, Go website and generate your individual checklist to ensure that you and your business are ready for the end of the transition period on 1st January.

Questions? We can help!

Get in touch with us today and let us help you and your business during these difficult times. Contact our Director, Nick Bonnello, directly on 0115 964 8860 or email him at nickb@rwbca.co.uk to find out how we can help you across all areas of your business.

The views provided in this article are for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article represents advice of any nature whatsoever. Accordingly, RWB CA Limited does not accept any liability or responsibility for the information contained in this article or any decision or other action that may be taken in reliance upon the information contained within it. RWB CA Limited accepts no responsibility for any errors of fact or opinion and assumes no obligation to provide you with any changes to its assumptions.  

Tags: Financial planning Tax advice Tax planning VAT Tax HMRC Employee Employment Government Brexit EU European Union

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