Sammy Says : "Tax Changes Will Kill Small Businesses"
Speaking at Treasury Questions in the House of Commons today and at a meeting with the FSB (Federation of small businesses) later on Sammy questioned the policy of requiring businesses to send quarterly tax information instead of their normal yearly tax returns.
Many businesses are totally unaware that from April 1917 some of them will be required to send quarterly information on line to HMRC and a year later all businesses will be required to do so. Ironically big businesses which are best placed to do this will not have to comply.
Sammy told the minister that this will increase the likelihood of businesses facing treasury fines and increase their administrative costs. He asked how this fitted in with the government policy of cutting red tape, reducing business costs and encouraging new start ups. Even pensioners who supplement their income with rents from properties will be required to file in quarterly returns to HMRC.
Ironically the government doesn’t know how much this will cost businesses in additional accountancy and administrative costs, have no answers as to how businesses which don’t have access to broadband of which there are hundreds in East Antrim, and has admitted that substantial training will be required for many business owners to learn how to collate the data required. Despite all of this it still intends to plough on with the changes by April of 2016. Most businesses are not even aware of the change let alone ready to comply and it seems that the most vulnerable ie those who are not the best at supplying information on time will be the first to be hit.
I can see this policy driving hundreds of businesses to the wall either because they will be unable to cope with the information regime or will be hit with fines because they fail to comply. It remains to be seen whether this policy will result in the government obtaining more tax revenue as is the objective or results in revenue falling as businesses go under as a result of more red tape.