Mazars is warning East Midlands businesses that they must not allow themselves to be sidetracked by the Budget and Election “sideshows” this year.
The international accountancy firm with offices in Nottingham and Leicester is stressing the need to focus and not be distracted.
Partner Stephen Fuller said: “The Budget and the Election are potential distractions or sideshows for business owners.
“Although they may have a bearing on the economy over the next year, businesses must maintain focus and drive to achieve their objectives – those who wait or allow themselves to be distracted risk losing the inherent capital value within their business.”
He explained that an Election year was different in that any announcements made in the Budget on March 18th are unlikely to be enacted into legislation as there will be insufficient time for the Finance Bill to pass through Parliament before it is dissolved ahead of the election.
“The usual hullabaloo around the Budget will be irrelevant as it will just be electioneering,” he said.
Corporate finance partner Paul Bevan urged businesses not to wait and see whether a “Phantom Budget” or a possible “Hung Parliament” had a negative impact on the economy – or not.
“If the idea of exiting your business is on your mind, start planning now, whatever your timescales.
“Take action now to secure your future rather than leave it to the whims and vagaries of politicians,” he said.
Stephen Fuller then stressed the need to ensure that business owners considering exiting, qualified for Entrepreneur’s Relief.
“If you are nervous about the ten per cent entrepreneur’s relief rate being increased or abolished, there is the potential to protect yourself against post-Budget Capital Gains Tax rises,” he said.
“You should also make sure you plan for your estate and understand Business Property Relief, which could also have a wider impact from an Inheritance Tax perspective.”
He cited Research & Development tax credits and Patent Box as two cash generating tax reliefs that should be reviewed and maximised as they can add significant value and aid cashflow.
And he stressed that if commercial property is involved in any prospective transaction, the Capital Allowances position must be fully reviewed as failure to do so now could have an adverse impact on a transaction
Paul Bevan said: “Despite comments to the contrary, there is lots of cash – both debt and equity – out there looking for a good home. Interest rates are low, banks are funding and there’s a real buyer appetite out there.
“And don’t limit yourself to looking solely in the UK for a purchaser – look abroad, both east and west,” he said.
“In an Election Year, preceded by the usual March Budget, it is very easy to lose focus, and wait and see what impact is initiated.
“But experience tells us that very little of serious consequence happens between a Budget and General Election, and holding back now merely means you have let six months slip by – while your competitors may be staking their claim,” he pointed out.