Current UK tax regime not a level playing field

The UK’s tax system is “fundamentally unfair” to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), new research indicates.

According to a recent survey of over 1,000 UK businesses, conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), 58 per cent of SMEs say the tax system is unfair to their businesses, with 67 per cent feeling that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) doesn’t apply tax rules fairly across all sizes of business. Micro businesses feel particularly hard done by (70 per cent), compared to their medium and large counterparts (59 per cent).

The quality of service provided by HMRC was also brought into question, with 49 per cent of UK businesses saying they don’t believe HMRC provides the support they need to be compliant. This figure is higher for micro firms (51 per cent), compared to medium and larger firms (42 per cent).

Many respondents said they feel that HMRC underestimates the time and money spent trying to keep up with various regulatory burdens and the complexities of the system, with exorbitant business rates, the costly introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) and changes to auto-enrolment all adding to the cost and administrative burden on SMEs.

Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), says: “These results reflect a strong impression among businesses that 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 and as a consequence they feel under the constant threat of being called out for getting things wrong in a tax system that has grown ever more complex. In contrast, action to tackle persistent compliance issues among a small minority of firms remains frustratingly slow.

“There is also widespread disappointment over the escalating burden of up-front taxes and costs of doing business in the UK, particularly at this time of heightened uncertainty. This has proved to be tipping point for many smaller firms who typically operate on a tight cashflow.”

How Beavis Morgan can help you and your business

Growing businesses often don’t have the time or resource to set up a full accounting function. That’s why, at Beavis Morgan, we offer the capability to outsource your finance department to us.

We will take care of your day-to-day accounting needs, oversee MTD for VAT changes on your behalf, and ensure that your tax reporting obligations are fully satisfied and that every opportunity to lawfully exploit tax savings is made known to you, restructuring your affairs in a tax effective and efficient way.

We will also help you to navigate any potential pitfalls and ensure all your accounting, financial and bookkeeping needs are managed from one place, so you don’t need to act as the go-between for your accountant and bookkeeper.

You will never need to worry about missing a VAT deadline, or the complexities of running payroll.

You will have access to accurate, reliable and timely financial information when you need it, whether that be profit or cash focused, or both, to accurately and effectively manage the company’s finances and drive growth.

Our business experts will work with you to identify your requirements and then design and implement a system that will provide all the information you need, within a cost effective and efficient framework.

In turn, if you have any concerns regarding your tax return or other related matters, our experts at Beavis Morgan are available to assist. We take the hassle of dealing with HMRC away from you, so you don’t need to liaise with them directly.

Contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information and assistance.