Opinion Former Article

Business as usual for customs in transition period

Commenting on today’s UK - EU conditional agreement on terms for a transition period after Brexit, Alan McLintock, Chair of CIOT’s Indirect Taxes Sub-committee, said:

“UK and European Union business will welcome the continuity proposed in today’s agreement (subject to the formal signing happening as expected). It suggests that for most businesses it will be business as usual in cross border trade after March 2019.

“It is good news that businesses in the UK and the EU will only have to adjust to a new customs relationship once.

“We urge the UK and EU not to waste the period up until December 2020 and to get down to agreeing what form the post transition relationship will take. We must avoid a transitional period that just replicates the uncertainty of today with businesses having to second guess late into 2020 how their businesses will be impacted. Businesses need many months advance notice of what the customs regime will be to alter systems and supply chains and for some, today’s news may have come too late to adjust their Brexit planning, particularly for financial institutions.”

Notes for editors

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)

The CIOT is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. Through our Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), the CIOT has a particular focus on improving the tax system, including tax credits and benefits, for the unrepresented taxpayer.

The CIOT draws on our members’ experience in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia to improve tax administration and propose and explain how tax policy objectives can most effectively be achieved. We also link to, and draw on, similar leading professional tax bodies in other countries. The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made in line with our charitable objectives: we are politically neutral in our work.

The CIOT’s 18,000 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.

Contact: Hamant Verma, External Relations Officer, 0207 340 2702 HVerma@ciot.org.uk (Out of hours contact: George Crozier, 07740 477 374)

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