Monday, 4 January 2016

Self-Employed To Be Forced To File Tax Returns Four Times a Year

It's a funny business, politics. Recently we reported on how our Labour-controlled Council is set to privatise Council housing in Shepherd's Bush, a policy normally associated with the Conservatives.

By contrast, Chancellor George Osbourne's war on landlords, and his huge hikes in Stamp Duty, look suspiciously like Labour party policies.  But it still comes as a shock to find our Government waging a new war on small businesses, by forcing self-employed people to file their taxes no less than four times a year.

This massive new increase in red tape (not to mention accountancy costs) comes into force in 2020, and will damage precisely the people who the Conservative party traditionally supports - aspirational small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Punishing entrepreneurs
Why is the Government doing this? Supposedly, it's to simplify the tax system. But you don't need an Oxford degree to figure out that quarterly filing of income tax returns doesn't simplify the life of small business people, many of who are still struggling to recover from the last recession.

Something in the region of four million people will be affected by the new rules. These include the self employed, small business owners and also landlords who make more than £10,000 a year.

Who will benefit? Well, accountants will obviously do well, as they have done for years, as our tax code grows every more complex and more difficult for the average person to understand.  But accountancy is just another cost that businesses have to shoulder, costs which they will inevitably have to pass on to their customers, making everyone's life a bit more expensive.

How very odd that the party of entrepreneurship and small business should be the one to bring in such onerous business-destroying rules.

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