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UK Review Of Self-Employment Welcomed

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

24 February 2016


An independent review of UK self-employment has recommended that the Government consider the impact of the tax system on the sector.

Julie Deane was commissioned by the Government in 2015 to assess what additional support can be provided to the self-employed, and how the Government can better understand their motivations and the challenges they face.

Taxation was outside the scope of the review. However, in her report, Deane explained that "taxation was repeatedly raised by all of those interviewed – as an administrative burden, a barrier to growth, and an issue that could benefit from improved simplicity and better advice."

"Given the scale of concern I recommend that the Government looks at this in more detail," Deane added. She has passed the tax-related notes taken during the review process on to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Office for Tax Simplification, and the Treasury.

Among the recommendations made by Deane are that advice and support should be made as accessible as possible; that more flexible financial solutions be made available; that the education system should better prepare young people for the role self-employment might play in their future; and that maternity pay be reformed.

Adam Marshall, the Executive Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), commented: "Julie Deane is right: it's time to sweep away the barriers that stop people from working for themselves. Her calls for the education system to focus more on the basics of enterprise, and for the self-employed to receive parental leave pay on the same basis as company workers, resonate with what we hear in business communities across the country. Slashing red tape and the burdens of tax administration would help not just the self-employed, but also vast numbers of small- and medium-sized businesses all across the UK."

Mike Cherry, Policy Director for the Federation of Small Businesses, welcomed the report and said: "We encourage ministers to read this report carefully and take on board its recommendations. Particularly important are the recommendations to bring Maternity Allowance into line with Statutory Maternity pay and those relating to access to more flexible finance solutions. For too long the self-employed have been frozen out of getting fair access to mortgages, insurance products, and pensions."

TAGS: tax | business | pensions | insurance | United Kingdom | education | self-employment | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | tax reform | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

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