Apparently, the Autumn budget has taken us to 20 new taxes since 2000. Aside from the increasing complexity running against stated government policy, and some unintended consequences that my colleague Jamie Lane has covered, the changing weight of taxes on corporations and individuals is leading businesses to reconsider their structure.

In recent weeks, I have had several conversations with clients driven by this. One, a partnership, was on the edge of incorporation - but detailed work on how the increased dividend rates and corporation tax would affect them has led to a conclusion that it's probably not worth pursuing. 

Two other clients have accelerated their retirement plans, as they don't feel its efficient to carry on trading with the triple impact of increases to corporation tax, employer's national insurance and dividend rate. A notable difficulty that this has raised is what they should do with profits accumulated in the business. Previous plans to gradually build up a pension pot are no longer feasible with an imminent retirement, and liquidation is difficult when a client would like to keep working - "just not so much if the treasury is taking so much!"

Clearly, its important to keep talking to your advisors and planning ahead - even if those plans do need to keep evolving. But beyond that, as the dust settles on the emergency measures taken during the pandemic, the government needs to think about what messages they want to send to businesses, and how the complex web of tax legislation is impacting that.