The 31st of January 2020 is an important date for accountants for two main reasons…it’s self-assessment deadline day AND it’s Brexit Day, but what does the latter mean for us and ultimately our clients?
I think it’s fair to say, no-one actually knows. I for one, have read and re-read articles written by “experts” but none have given a definitive answer about what changes the regular small business owner can expect to see.
My gut instinct is that we will go through a lean period because of the continuing uncertainty but as a nation we can and will survive it. If your business trades locally then will there be much happening?
For example, if you’re a cleaner will your domestic customers suddenly stop using you? There is that possibility that their excess income is taken up by rising food costs, higher VAT making the cost of goods more expensive, the interest rate on their mortgage might go up but these are also a good opportunity for other small businesses to help. Mortgage brokers may get an influx of people looking to re-mortgage to fix their interest rate until the uncertainty becomes certain again. The budget supermarkets might gain more of the market share and need more staff, people might delay moving house and renovate instead so the handyman down the road might get busy.
One thing we can expect through this Brexit transition period is that there will be “experts” giving their opinion, John down the pub will suddenly become one of those “experts” when actually all he’s done is read the same articles as the rest of us. If you’re a small business owner just remember that John, who drives a truck for a living is no more an “expert” than the next man.
One group of professionals you should continue talking to is your accountant, not only is it their job to keep up with the legislation that will be appearing in the press and from the government, they are also talking to other business people so will be more likely to have come across your particular issue in real life. Your accountant should be your first port of call if you’re concerned that your income is being impacted by Brexit – but remember the 31st of January is busy for them too!
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