Tax & Admin

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

Hannah Wilkinson | 14 March 2016 | 8 years ago

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“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.

He added: In a recent survey, 93 per cent of FSB members said cars are important to their business. Small firms across the country are heavily reliant on roads for customers, staff, and suppliers, and affordable fuel has been a lifeline to those in rural areas.

The chancellor has dropped few hints about what he is going to be announcing on Wednesday, but warned on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on 13 March that cuts to public spending would be necessary, arguing: “I need to find additional savings equivalent to 50p in every 100 the government spends by the end of the decade, because we’ve got to live within our means to stay secure.

Osborne also used the interview to argue against a Brexit claiming that it would cause an economic shock which would destroy jobs.

Struggling to get to grips with changes to dividend taxes? Read our expert guide here.

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