Small business owners hit out at ‘unfair’ uk tax system

July 2019

In a survey of 1,000 firms, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found 58% of SMEs thought the UK tax system is unfair, with different tax rules applying to different types of business.

More than two-thirds (67%) of business owners did not believe the Revenue applies tax rules fairly across all sizes of business.

This view was a pressing concern for 70% of microbusinesses, but subsided to 59% of the UK’s medium or large businesses.

Many respondents also thought HMRC underestimated the time and money spent trying to comply with the system.

Almost half (49%) wanted the Revenue to help them comply with Making Tax Digital, auto-enrolment, and business rates. The BCC reiterated its call for the Government to introduce no new input taxes and other significant costs on businesses for the remainder of this parliament.

Suren Thiru, head of economics at the BCC, said:

“The current UK tax regime isn’t a level playing field.

“When it comes to compliance there is a tendency for HMRC to see smaller businesses as low-hanging fruit.

“They feel under constant threat of being called out for getting things wrong in a tax system that has grown ever more complex.

“HMRC must provide better support to smaller businesses to get their tax right, rather than pursuing and enforcing penalties.”

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