Attention micro- business owners: thee review of small business taxation is now open

Do you own and run a micro-business employing 10 or fewer employees? Well, the new consultation on business taxation is now open for business, and the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) is seeking your views. This review is something that business owners and accountants have been asking for some time now, and Steven Glicher accountants is delighted to say that at last the process has begun. Maybe we can all treat this as our early Christmas present.

So what’s this review all about? Well, the chancellor announced a comprehensive review of business taxation in the Summer Budget. The Government than set up the Office of Tax Simplification to carry out this review. It has now opened this review focussing at first instance on small company taxation, giving contractors and micro firms a chance to influence government taxation policy.

The first survey stage of the review will take the form of a questionnaire, comprising 23 questions. By all accounts the questionnaire will be simple to complete and should take an estimated 15 minutes. All answers to the questionnaire will then be used to “develop recommendations for the Chancellor”. The OTS is, therefore, calling on small business owners across the country to get involved in the survey to raise awareness of taxation issues to the Government:

“We would like to hear from you as small company owners about the difficulties you have with the current tax system and any suggestions you have to improve it,” the OTS said. Respondents to the OTS survey are invited to leave their contact details because any “new ideas” they put forward might require further elaboration before the OTS can pass them on to the Chancellor. However, it’s important to note that the survey can also be completed anonymously if businesses prefer.

So what type of questions is the survey likely to ask? Well, it has been reported that small business owners will be asked questions about any previous experiences of closing a company. Moreover, it will also ask whether businesses have found any taxes straightforward enough to administer without the help from an accountant. Additional questions are also believed to be focused on the cost of meeting tax obligations and disincorporation.

Respondents will be asked questions on their awareness of the tax implications of companies paying for private expenditure, and interestingly, respondents are also being invited to mention the “one thing” above all others that should change above all about small business taxation. That question alone might raise a few eyebrows.

The online survey, which is open until 1st January 2016, states:

“For this report we will concentrate on ‘micro’ businesses and regard any company with fewer than 10 persons as micro.”

“We are interested in all taxes, including corporation tax, VAT, stamp duty, business rates, PAYE, income tax, national insurance, excise duties, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.”

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