Not too many years ago, practitioners would be limbering up at this time of the year to meet the surge of the tax return submission that needed to be cleared before the forthcoming January deadline for self-assessment. And of course, there would be the usual round of support issues generated by the needs of clients and their businesses.
Contrast that with the present concerns of practitioners that have precious little to do with their clients but a lot to do with government.
For example, it is ironic that the political champions of the market economy are left to carry the Brexit baton, racing towards uncertainties, when what clients, indeed all businesses require, is the certainty that the economic playing field is level and playable. Its as if a premier league match suddenly found itself sited on the M6, and with the traffic still running.
Unfortunately, Brexit will likely disadvantage specific industry sectors, at least in the period following March 2019, unless there is some sort of miraculous turnaround in the current exit negotiations.
Surely, the really disturbing issue for practitioners and businesses is not that we will be leaving the EU, but the dawning realisation that if we are to rise above the evident “disruption” caused by leaving, it will be down to us to make the required difference. It’s a pity that the business community is not in charge of negotiations with Europe.
While our politicians do what they do best, scoring points off one another, one can’t help but sense that the UK’s “Rome” may soon be burning.
And so, it would seem that we are in for turbulent times and settling down to meet the 31 January 2019 tax return deadline may be the least of it.