SMEs warned to put house in order over Christmas

William Mitting
Friday, December 21, 2007

A raft of changing tax legislation means that SME owner-managers shouldn't take a complete break this Christmas if they want their businesses to be in good shape for the end of the tax year, PKF Accountants & Business Advisers has warned.

PKF tax partner Peter Penneycard's gloomy Christmas message points out that 2008 will probably be one of the most demanding years smaller enterprises have faced in a long time, with the lack of clarity over changes to capital gains tax (CGT) adding to the overall stress for those considering selling up.

Penneycard said: "There are a number of areas where new rules are being introduced around the end of the tax year and it's important that business owners get to grips with them or they could lose out. The Christmas break is a good time to get everything in order, particularly if the business is taking an extended break over the whole week.

"Much has been said recently about CGT but there are other areas that need to be checked and claims to consider. Missing tax reliefs for research and development costs, capital investment and pension contributions could significantly damage an entrepreneur's finances."

He added that, although it may seem a burden, the reality is that it's better to set aside some spare time to address important financial issues over the break than to try to sort it out in the New Year when the demands of customers and running the business are going full steam.

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