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UK Small Businesses Seek Tax Simplification

by Robert Lee,, London

19 May 2015

51 percent of small firms in the UK want the new Government to simplify the tax system, according to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Commenting following the Conservative Party's victory in the UK elections, Mike Chetry, FSB National Policy Chairman, said: "Over the five years of this Parliament, our members' top priorities are to lighten the burdens of regulation and tax, reform broken business rates, support the development and skills of young people, and improve broadband and mobile connectivity. We look forward to meeting with ministers to discuss how we can help make this happen and continue to foster the economic conditions which allow enterprise to flourish."

The Conservative party won a 12-seat majority on May 7, after five years of coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. Chancellor George Osborne was reappointed and, following a cabinet re-shuffle, former Culture Secretary Sajid Javid became Business Secretary.

53 percent of the 2,327 companies surveyed by the FSB said they wanted the new Government to focus on reducing the regulatory burden, while 51 percent agreed that the Government should simplify the tax system. 44 percent said the Government should reform business rates (property tax).

According to Cherry, this research "sends a very clear message on what small businesses want from the new Government – a supportive, light touch tax and regulatory environment in which to grow their business, creating prosperity, and jobs."

The FSB's pre-election Business Manifesto called for a tax system that rewards entrepreneurs and encourages equity investment in early-stage businesses. It recommended that the Office for Tax Simplification undertake a full review of the tax treatment of self-employed persons and micro and small businesses, and recommended that the temporary doubling of small business rate relief should be made permanent. A business "tax account" should be created, through which small firms could make advance tax payments, the FSB said, and an "enterprise tax" framework should be established.

TAGS: tax | investment | small business | business | property tax | Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) | entrepreneurs | equity investment | United Kingdom | tax rates | tax reform | regulation

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