What a year. During 2016, the status quo has taken quite a drubbing, primarily Brexit and the unexpected election result in the United States. How this will affect the UK economy remains an unknown. Watch this space.
We have a two dates for our diaries: 8 March 2017 the spring budget, and the end of March, the invocation of Article 50.
Philip Hammond is a different character to his predecessor, but he still seems to be talking-up austerity and balancing the books. How he will achieve this in the face of the present uncertainties remains to be seen.
Tax advisors seem to have little influence at the sharp edge of policy making, but we do have to pick up the pieces and dig out the band aid when matters take a turn for the worse. In this respect, our bets are hedged, heads we can support growth and investment, tails we can support tightening of belts and trimming of wicks.
Stand out items for our attention in 2017 must be Making Tax Digital and the first leg of the disallowance of buy-to-let finance charges and conversion to a basic rate tax credit. These two items alone should provoke some interesting strategic responses.
Firms that have still not embraced Cloud computing may find themselves out distanced by more tech-savvy firms as the age of the retro accountant heads in the same direction as the brontosaurus.
2016 has truly been a year of the unexpected. And you have to re-tread over fifty years to witness Kwai Chang Caine’s (alias David Caradine) Kung-Fu mentor and teacher exhort: “Ah grasshopper, you should always expect the unexpected!”
Happy New Year…