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Small firms negative on tax changes

Many small businesses in Britain do not approve of the way the Government has changed the tax system, according to research by the Forum of Private Business.

The Cheshire-based not-for-profit small business support group asked its members in offices and workshops across the UK for their impressions of tax changes made by the coalition. On the whole, they were downbeat and felt the changes failed to address a number of problems in the tax system.

Over one in four business owners believed the fairness of the system had gone backwards, while 17% felt it had improved. A quarter thought it was now more complicated, with 14% thinking the opposite. Only one in 10 said the system was more efficient, compared to 26% who believed it was not as good.

The perceived drop in efficiency comes as a blow to HMRC ahead of the launch of Real Time Information (RTI) in April. Despite successful pilots and efforts by the Forum of Private Business to promote the changes, businesses are sceptical about the Government's ability to oversee the significant change.

The findings of the research also highlighted the most pressing concern among small companies - business rates. As many as 94% of business owners thought they were being taxed too much on commercial properties, with two-thirds of those proprietors claiming they do not see any tangible return on the cash they fork out on the tax.

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