SMEs believe tax system is unfair

Posted on 16 May 2019 and read 369 times
SMEs believe tax system is unfairBusiness believes that the UK tax system is fundamentally unfair and wants more support to stay compliant, according to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce.

This found that 58% of respondents think the UK’s tax regime is unfair to businesses like theirs, and some 67% of respondents do not believe that HMRC applies tax rules fairly across all sizes of business, with ‘micro’ firms more likely to have that view (70%) than their medium-size and large counterparts (59%).

The survey also found concerns over the quality of service provided by HMRC.

Almost one in two firms (49%) do not believe that HMRC provides the support they need to be compliant.

Furthermore, many respondents expressed frustration that HMRC underestimated the time and money that small businesses spent trying to keep pace with regulatory burdens and the complexities of the system.

BCC is calling on the Government to improve HMRC’s service to business by matching the level of investment in tax avoidance work with funding for support and advice to businesses; it says that reducing the burden of compliance and improving processes for collecting tax would also go a long way to helping business.

BCC says: “The relentless rise in upfront business taxes and costs — from sky-high business rates to the costly introduction of Making Tax Digital — and changes to auto-enrolment are adding to the already onerous cost and administrative burden on firms and are reinforcing concerns over the current tax regime.”

The BCC also reasserts its call for the Government to pledge to introduce no new input taxes and other significant costs on businesses for the remainder of this Parliament.

BCC conducted its online survey of more than 1,000 firms across the UK between 28 January and 11 February.

Some 96% of the participants were SMEs (firms with fewer than 250 employees), while 68% are in the service sector and 32% are in the manufacturing sector.

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