Small Business Owners Hit Out at ‘Unfair’ UK Tax System

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Most small business owners in the UK do not think the tax system treats their business fairly, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

In a survey of 1,000 firms, 58% of SME owners said they think the UK tax system is unfair, with different tax rules applying to different types of business.

More than two-thirds (67%) of small 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 microbusiness owners, while it subsided to 59% of the UK’s medium or large businesses.

Many respondents also thought HMRC underestimated the time and money they spent trying to keep up with the complexities of the system.

Almost half (49%) wanted better support from the Revenue to help them comply with legislation surrounding 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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