Feeds

Small biz would pay more for simpler tax

Assuming competitors pay more too...

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Small business owners would pay more tax, if the system was simpler and it cracked down on tax avoidance by their competitors.

Smaller firms believe they're at an unfair disadvantage compared to bigger companies. Most smaller companies also complained that the tax system deters them from hiring more staff.

Phil Orford, chief exec of the Forum of Private Business, said: “The cost of complying with Britain’s hugely complex tax system is such that, if simplification and profitability result, most businesses believe a little more tax would be a price worth paying.

“Clearly, if the government is serious about stimulating small business growth, streamlining tax administration must be a priority.

“In addition, small businesses are deeply concerned that the tax system favours large companies and is deeply unfair. Plans to clamp down on tax avoidance, for example, seem to fall short in several areas.

“How can the government continue to allow major retailers to set up shop in the Channel Islands to deliberately undercut small shops and internet businesses by exploiting a VAT loophole that clearly distorts competition and leads to tax abuse?” he asked.

The Forum of Private Business surveyed its Tax and Budget member panel in response to the government's promise to review the tax system via the Office for Tax Simplification.

Some 57 per cent of those surveyed said they would pay more tax in exchange for a simpler system and less red tape.

The impact of VAT rises seems mixed on FPB members – 21 per cent it would have a significant impact, but 48 per cent said it would create minimal problems for their business.

Seventy-eight per cent agreed that the tax system deters them from hiring new staff; 45 per cent said the tax system has a negative impact on financial planning; and 41 per cent said it impedes prompt payment.

In other news, the Federation of Small Business said that smaller firms are less confident now than they were a year ago.

The FSB's "Voice of Small Business Index" fell for the third successive quarter to -13.2 – the deepest decline since March 2010, when polling began.

The lobby group said the private sector recovery stumbled in 2010. It said that cash-flow constraints caused by higher utility bills, fuel duty and VAT coupled with the impact of public sector cuts meant growth in 2011 "is also likely to be sluggish at best." Bad weather at the end of 2010 also had a negative impact.

The picture for employment is not much better – 77.7 per cent of FSB respondents said they expected to maintain current employment levels and 12.4 per cent expect to cut staff numbers, up from 10.4 per cent in the third quarter. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.