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Ten key considerations to prepare for the post-Brexit landscape

A perspective for tax leaders

Zoe Hawes of Deloitte UK explored some of the key changes from a tax perspective that businesses have to prepare for at the end of the Brexit transition period. This article was first published in International Tax Review in Autumn 2020.

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, kicking off a transition period that runs to the end of the year. Over the past few months, the UK and the EU have been negotiating details of the future relationship under a potential free trade agreement (FTA). At the time of writing, the outcome of these negotiations was still uncertain.

While there were no definitive conclusions from the European Council meeting on 15-16 October, talks were set to continue and organizing principles for further negotiations had been published.

Although exactly what comes next is unclear, one thing is certain – change is inevitable. Indeed, many of the tax changes arise irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations, by virtue of the fact that the UK is no longer part of the EU single market and customs union.

Business attention has understandably been most recently focused on responding to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. However, as businesses review their Brexit planning in preparation for the end of the transition period, there are 10 key actions that tax teams should undertake to prepare:

  1. Customs compliance;
  2. Customs duties;
  3. Customs regimes and simplifications;
  4. VAT law changes;
  5. VAT simplifications and reporting;
  6. Systems and data;
  7. Corporate tax and EU directives;
  8. Transfer pricing and exit charges;
  9. Social security; and
  10. Northern Ireland.