ACCA calls for Government to ‘Think small first’

The newly established Office of Tax Simplification will provide welcome respite for the financially challenged contingent of SMEs across the UK, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). However, the key is as much consistency as it is policy.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA Head of Taxation, said,

“In recent years, the UK tax policy has changed as often as the people in charge of it. We applaud the Treasury’s decision to establish the Office of Tax Simplification, but to make this initiative truly of benefit to businesses of all sizes, it is vital that the work of the Office remains politically independent and that its recommendations do not fall by the wayside as the Coalition Government shifts its focus to other areas of the UK economic recovery.”

Roy-Chowdhury also believes that the Government should start with SMEs when designing taxation policies for business:

“Currently, the government has a top down approach for business tax but instead it should think small first. It needs to create a foundation of principles that can apply to all businesses, based on the needs of the smallest, with additional layers added for larger, more complex companies.”

ACCA is calling for more clarity around the following areas of business legislation:

  • The PAYE system
  • Income tax bands
  • VAT flat rates for small businesses
  • The employee benefits system
  • Deductions from business tax profits

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy but they have been trapped by the overly complicated taxation system,” Roy-Chowdhury concluded. “We have been calling for greater simplification and transparency in the UK tax system for many years and we are delighted the Treasury has recognised the need to streamline the system though the establishment of the Office of Tax Simplification and we hope this commitment continues.”

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