We spoke to 900 businesses with revenues of £10m-£300m. While they value the reliefs and incentives available through the tax system, most also expressed frustration.
- More than half feel that large multinationals have too much influence on UK tax policy
- Only one in five say the tax system meets their needs
- Almost two-thirds want a simpler tax system and better reliefs and incentives
So what are some of the key issues behind these views?
Is tax supporting growth for small and medium sized businesses?
We asked businesses about their growth plans and if the tax system is helping to achieve them.
- 94% expect to grow by at least 5% this year and one in five by more than 10%
- But less than a quarter say the tax system is supporting their growth
- Companies agree that relief for employee training is the best policy for job creation, but are divided on how to support innovation, creativity and productivity
Businesses often don’t see a connection between tax and growth, and the impact of specific incentives isn’t always clear.
Does the tax system support fundraising and a business to attract capital?
For privately-owned businesses, tax incentives are key to attracting investment and protecting wealth.
- 41% of respondents say the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is the best driver of investment
- EIS is often mentioned by quoted companies too, reflecting the scheme’s importance in scaling up SMEs
- There is strong support for incentives for upfront investment, exit and reinvestment
On the whole, we found positive views on investment incentives, especially among businesses forecasting moderate growth.
Is the tax system user-friendly?
Businesses gave us clear feedback, raising a number of concerns about working with the tax system.
- Only around a quarter are getting maximum support from the tax system
- Almost two-thirds say the tax system is too complex, up from 38% last year
- 64% would welcome more support and guidance to prepare for Making Tax Digital
Complexity is certainly affecting how businesses view the tax system, and is holding them back from making the most of the support it offers.
The study found evidence that businesses forecasting rapid expansion have positive attitudes to the tax system - three quarters say it supports their growth. And although they share concerns about complexity and the influence of multinationals, most also feel they are getting maximum support from the system. Our report explores this in more detail.
Download the full report to find out more about how companies view the tax system and to read our recommendations for addressing the issues raised by the survey.
We are here to help your business to drive maximum benefit from the reliefs and incentives available through the tax system. To find out more, please contact us.