Self-Assessment process a growing pain for small business owners

Following news from HMRC that a record number of taxpayers filed their self assessment tax returns on time this year, business information site Bytestart has warned that a growing number of small firms and individuals are likely to be drawn into the SATR process this year.

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London, UK (PRWEB UK) 5 February 2013

Following news from HMRC that a record number of taxpayers filed their self assessment tax returns on time this year, business information site Bytestart has warned that a growing number of small firms and individuals are likely to be drawn into the Self Assessment Tax Return (SATR) process this year.

According to the tax authorities, 9.61 million individuals submitted their 2011/12 tax returns by the 31st January deadline this year – just under 93% of the total number that were required to do so.

Late filers face a series of financial penalties – including an instant £100 fine for missing the submission deadline. New penalties are levied at regular intervals if tax returns are still outstanding each quarter.

James Leckie, founder of small business portal, Bytestart, says that the SATR regime is becoming more taxing each year, and with more people than ever expected to file tax returns for the 2012/13 tax year, the Government needs to come good on its pre-election promise to reduce the red tape burden on small businesses.

“Aside from how to register a new business, we receive more questions from Bytestart visitors about self assessment than any other subject. Many small business owners find the form complicated to fill in, especially with a growing number of categories and supplementary pages to complete.”

The number of people required to fill in a SATR this year is expected to grow significantly, as more people are working for themselves as a result of the continuing economic uncertainty. The Office of National Statistics estimates that there are now 4.2m self-employed in the UK.

Last month, the ACCA said that the newly self-employed ‘face a challenging tax maze that could land them in hot water should they get it wrong’, and that the average small enterprise spends 36 days each year trying to comply with tax regulations.

Leckie said that taxpayers should be encouraged to set up on their own, and a simpler tax return process would remove one of many impediments in the way of would-be entrepreneurs.

“Before the last election, the Government pledged to slash the red tape burden for SMEs, however they seem determined to make things more complicated – including forcing 500,000 individuals into the SATR process from next year due to the botched Child Benefit eligibility changes.”

“Setting up a small business can be a daunting process. Rather than impeding start-up businesses with half-baked tax fixes and further regulations, we would urge the Government to keep small business taxation simple.”

“Millions of people have turned to self-employment as a result to the economic downturn. Their energy is what is needed to pull the UK out of the mire, and Government support is an essential part of the process.”

--ENDS—

Founded in 2004, Bytestart is one of the UK's leading business information sites, providing news and guides on everything from starting up a new enterprise, to dealing with tax and legal issues.

Contact James Leckie, Director, for further information.
Email: info(at)bytestart(dot)co(dot)uk
Phone: 0208 144 5046


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