COLUMN: What 2017 holds for you

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As we rapidly approach the end of the year, it seems a good time to reflect on what has changed in the past year and what we might expect to see in the year ahead.

2016 has seen much uncertainty on the national and international front with both the EU Referendum and the US Presidential Election resulting in unexpected outcomes and as yet unknown economic consequences.

There were changes in taxation including the introduction of the new dividend tax, where dividends are now received gross with the first £5,000 in a tax year being tax free, the balance taxable at 7.5%, 32.5% and 38.1% (depending on your marginal tax rate).

There was the introduction of a 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge for buyers of buy to let properties. This on top of the phased removal of tax relief on buy to let mortgages, announced last year.

These changes, along with others, mean that many individuals have had to re-evaluate their own position to ensure their affairs remain managed in a tax effective manner.

An 8% reduction in Capital Gains Tax rates was pleasing to see, but this reduction does not apply to the sale of residential property. A reduction in Corporation Tax to 17% by 2020, is also welcome for businesses.

2017 will see HMRC continuing to press forward with their Making Tax Digital programme. The goal of this programme is to transform the UK tax system and allow HMRC to operate on a close to real time basis. Businesses will have to provide more information on a regular basis to HMRC via a secure digital tax account. Although these changes won’t begin to be phased in until 2018, it is important that businesses are prepared by ensuring that their own systems and those of their advisers are up to date to meet these new requirements.

By March 2017, Article 50 may have been triggered and the two year negotiation period will follow to bring about our exit from the EU. As this takes place, businesses will need to keep up to date with changes that may affect them, and VAT in particular will be an area that sees substantial transformation.

2017 will certainly be a year of change and challenges, but there will also be the opportunity for SMEs across the region to show their ability to adapt and succeed.

To find out how Duncan & Toplis can help your business in 2017 contact Matt Herd at our Boston office on 01205 310250 or email matt.herd@duntop.co.uk.

To find out how Duncan & Toplis can help your business in 2017 contact Simon Syddall at our Sleaford office on 01529 303773 or email simon.syddall@duntop.co.uk.

To find out how Duncan & Toplis can help your business in 2017 contact Michele Coe-Baxter at our Skegness office on 01754 899899 or email michele.coe-baxter@duntop.co.uk.