2021 Year in Review: Food, Drink and Hospitality Sector

As we look back over the food, drink and hospitality sector in 2021 what are the key words that have shaped the year? Covid, Brexit, human capital challenges, sustainability and organisational agility all immediately come to mind.

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The reality of Brexit

Even with COVID19 overshadowing everything during 2020, Brexit did not exactly creep up on exporters on 1 January 2021.  However, with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement only being finalised on Christmas Eve, UK businesses had very little time to prepare for the reality of Brexit.  It is little wonder, therefore, that we have had all of the headlines in the first few months of 2021 around delays at the ports, rotting food on lorries and empty shelves in stores.  Even the UK’s beloved “Percy Pig” was threatened by EU “red tape”! 

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Brexit changes for UK residents with EU properties

Following our previous blog on the personal tax impact of Brexit, it seems those who own property in France or Spain may be particularly affected by Brexit.

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Withholding Tax – implications following Brexit

For any companies who previously relied on an EU directive in relation to Withholding Tax (“WHT”), there will be a need to consider the impact between the UK and other EU entities. The terms of the relevant Double Tax Treaty (“DTT”) should be reviewed to determine if there is any reduction, or possibly even elimination, of the withholding tax obligation. There may also be a requirement to make a new or amended claim to the relevant tax authority too.

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Brexit and National Insurance – rules from 1 January 2021

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, both parties have reached an agreement regarding the details of the National Insurance rules to be applied between the EU states and the UK from 1 January 2021. This agreement largely replicates the current EU social security coordination regulations and aims to ensure workers who move between the UK and the EU are required to only pay into one country’s social security scheme at a time, usually the country where the work takes place. There are special provisions for multi-state and detached workers, with current rules continuing to apply to those protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

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UK reduces the scope of mandatory reporting requirements in relation to DAC 6

In a surprising U-turn, coinciding with the end of the UK-EU Brexit transition period, the UK has dramatically reduced the scope of DAC 6 reporting obligations in the UK.

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Brexit is happening, but what about the personal tax impact?

Not long to go now until we actually find out what Brexit might look like. New Year celebrations may well include us raising a glass to us just “getting this done”, especially since we probably all have a little “Brexit Fatigue”.

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Brexit and National Insurance – the transition

As a result of leaving the EU, the UK will experience a number of changes and one area which will be impacted is that of National Insurance. Negotiations are still ongoing however the below is what we know so far.

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Don’t be blind to the Brexit challenges

Even with perfect vision, no-one could have foreseen how difficult a year 2020 would have been for UK businesses.  However, as we head towards 2021, and the end of the Brexit transitional period, the fresh challenges involved in the import or export of goods and services from the UK are clearer to see. 

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Postponed import VAT accounting – A Brexit plus point

*Updated 4 March 2021*

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