Small businesses are currently experiencing the reality of a Government intent on changing the economic world, as the changes impact through the priorities and practice of its agencies. No more so than within the regime of taxation and the operations of Her Majesty’s Excise and Customs (HMRC). Small businesses usually don’t have the specialist resources and expertise of larger enterprises to address and deal with the demands of taxation changes, which at present seem to be coming thick and fast. Even any reduction in red tape or implementation brings with it new instructions, handbooks, guidelines and notes which need to be taken on board, understood and responded to!
Small businesses cannot ignore the changes; to do so simply piles on the pressure from worry and failure to comply. It has been suggested by some observers that small businesses can founder, overwhelmed by bureaucracy. If you have concerns – don’t delay, ask for help!
The findings of a recent survey by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, of 500 small businesses, identified that 19% had missed out on tax breaks and grants, while 10% said they had made late VAT payments or missed tax return deadlines. Some 16% were unsure of where to turn for advice on regulation, while 15% said they struggled to understand new rules.
"For small businesses, every penny really does count, so the cost of falling foul of red tape can make a fundamental difference to their ability to succeed," said Gary Lumby, Director of Small Business Banking at the banks. He continued, "In extreme cases, not understanding red tape may lead to them closing. It is worrying that a significant number of small firms do not know where to turn for advice on these matters."
A second significant change, recently reported, seems to be in the attitude and actions of the HMRC Business Payment Support Service. It seems to be getting tougher on ‘Time To Pay’, the scheme allowing taxpayers to spread their tax bills over a number of months, with more arrangements being probed, questioned and being rejected.
Article courtesy of Ellis & Co Accountants in Wrexham
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