Tax & admin · 14 March 2016

The Budget 2016: Small business owners crossing their fingers for tax simplification

“Clients want simplicity, but we will probably get more complexity, ” said Moore Stephens partner Stephen Baylis
Over half of small business owners are hoping that tax simplification measures will be announced by George Osborne on Wednesday, according to new research carried out by accountancy firm Moore Stephens.

The survey also revealed that 55 per cent of SME owners support more of a crackdown on tax avoidance by large multinational corporations, while reducing employer National Insurance contributions and simplifying capital allowances were other items high on their wish lists.

Moore Stephens partner Stephen Baylis told City AM: Many small firm owners believe that if the tax system had fewer nooks and crannies? then they could pare back some of the advantages big businesses enjoy.

James Sherwin-Smith, the CEO of alternative finance provider Growth Street, also believes that reducing complexity is important if small firms are to flourish. It is vital that the chancellor puts small businesses at the heart of his Budget on Wednesday to ensure they continue to flourish, he said.

accessing appropriate finance on suitable terms continues to be a huge problem for SME owners and the government can do more to remove unnecessarily bureaucratic hurdles, Sherwin-Smith added.

But writing in his firm’s pre-Budget report, Baylis was not confident that these changes would happen. What clients want and what will probably happen in the Budget are two different things, he said. They want simplicity, but we will probably get more complexity.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has also expressed concerns about possible inclusions in the 16 March announcement. We urge the chancellor to refrain from a fuel duty tax hike in the Budget, said policy director Mike Cherry.



Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics as well as running a tutoring company.