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FSB Submits Capital Gains Tax Proposals

by Jason Gorringe,, London

10 December 2007

The UK's Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) on Friday announced that it had commissioned Ernst & Young’s Chris Sanger, the original architect of the capital gains tax (CGT) taper relief scheme, to come up with alternatives to Alistair Darling’s plans to abolish it.

The FSB further revealed that it had submitted a comprehensive report to the Chancellor, who is expected to make a statement on CGT this week.

The Federation argues that its proposals would "mitigate the damage of the plan to scrap taper relief on CGT in April 2008, which has enraged the UK’s 4.5 million-strong small business community".

The small business organisation argued that the country’s entrepreneurial culture would be damaged by the government's plans as they stand, and that small business owners planning to sell their businesses to pay for their retirement would see their tax bills rocket overnight.

The FSB has proposed a new Entrepreneurs’ Relief, which would apply to owner-managers of small businesses as well as business angels.

The proposal would provide a 50% relief on capital gains up to a limit of GBP750,000, which equates to an effective tax rate of 9%; make it easy to identify who would qualify for the relief; encourage serial entrepreneurship and prevent entrepreneurs from leaving the UK, which could in turn increase the overall tax take from them; and simplify the capital gains tax system in line with the Chancellor’s intentions.

John Wright, FSB National Chairman, announced on Friday that:

“We’re pleased the Chancellor has acknowledged the outrage in the small business community about the plans to abolish taper relief on CGT and welcome the opportunity to put forward some alternatives."

“Thousands of small business owners and investors in new business ideas would have suffered from the Chancellor’s decision."

“Our proposals, produced in consultation with the UK’s leading expert on CGT, would protect small business owners that have worked hard over many years to build up a business and want to sell it to pay for their retirement. They would also ensure that the investment in new business ideas that underpins the future of the UK economy could be maintained.”

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