General Election 2017: Small business leaders cite simplification of the tax process as the key thing they want to see from a new government

Research from banking firm Aldermore, has revealed that small to medium-sized business leaders are among the most likely people to vote in the snap UK general election on Thursday.

Some 90 per cent of senior UK small business decision makers intend to vote in the general election, despite predictions of a far lower voter turnout across the UK. Interestingly, when asked what they’d most like to see from a new government after the general election, a third of all small business leaders said their main priority was to see a simplification of the tax system, along with a simplified financial accounts submission process.

Commenting on the survey’s results, Luke Wiseman, accountant at Whitley Stimpson, which has offices in Banbury, Bicester, Witney and High Wycombe, says: “The tax system and the submission process can be complicated for small businesses.  Often things are not clear, especially for start-ups, which can be off putting and create confusion.”

The current confusion surrounding the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) will also be on the radar for small businesses and their accountants ahead of the election. There’s a concensus that the HMRC need to get the right solution and not make it more rather than less complicated than it already is.

This unease dates back to 2015 when the new concept of MTD was introduced, signalling the death of the tax return. Since then the news has been sketchy and the final details still haven’t been disclosed.  MTD was removed from the Finance Bill in April ahead of the debate on the bill in the House of Commons, therefore the current timetable, for mandatory roll out from April 2018, looks increasingly unrealistic.

Luke continues: “For small businesses the benefits and potential efficiencies of digital accounting very much depend on the size, location and sector of the business. In general, and as with most things these days, the future is digital, but with the pace of change MTD is only a small part of the overall future of digital accounting. As this research shows, the main issue for business leaders is the simplification of their accounts and tax, regardless of which party wins the election.”

In the following weeks and months, we’ll be on hand to explain exactly how the election outcome will affect your business and financial situation.

Luke Wiseman can be contacted at Whitley Stimpson, on 01993 899953 or lukew@whitleystimpson.co.uk