We need to help small firms by keeping it simple
IT is the time of year when a lot of people will be going online to file their self assessment tax forms. Whenever I meet business people in the constituency, they remind me about the need to simplify all the forms they need to run their businesses. We do tend to think of businesses being big organisations, such as supermarket chains or companies which operate nationwide.
However, figures from the Federation of Small Businesses show that, in 2014, 99 per cent of private sector businesses were small or medium sized enterprises.
It has often been said that if every small business took on just one employee, that would provide work for everybody currently registered as unemployed. Unemployment has fallen consistently, with the latest (November 2014) figures showing that the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the Beaconsfield constituency has fallen once again.
Things like the new Employment Allowance are helping, by reducing the amount that employers pay in National Insurance contributions.
More than 90 per cent of that allowance goes to small businesses. Young people deserve the chance to work and from April this year employer national insurance for under 21 year olds earning below £813 per year will be abolished.
To encourage the people who are running small businesses, we have to make things simpler and get rid of red tape wherever possible. Thus far the Red Tape Challenge has earmarked 3,000 regulations to be scrapped or improved. There is also the ‘one in, two out’ rule, which means that for every new regulation, two old ones should be pruned out.
There will be people this year who have already been told by HM Revenue and Customs that they no longer have to complete a self assessment form, because their income falls below the £10,000 personal allowance. Overall there are efforts to simplify the tax system, so I hope this will help people who are ‘burning the midnight oil’ as they complete either their personal or business tax returns before the end of January.