We need to help small firms by keep­ing it sim­ple

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

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.

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