UK SMEs reveal election priorities include Self Assessment and corporation tax

Corporation tax is the most important concern for the UK’s small businesses as the country prepares to go to the polls.

This is according to a new survey from Simply Business, which found that 43 per cent of respondents ranked the tax as their top concern.

But changes to the Self Assessment process came a close second, with 42 per cent saying these worried them most.

Perhaps surprisingly, business rates lagged behind, with just 7 per cent of respondents ranking this as their primary concern.

The small business vote could prove crucial this general election, with over 5 million SMEs currently operating in the UK. And the two main parties have rather different ideas of how to win your vote.

Parties set out stalls

There is a stark difference between the two main parties when it comes to corporation tax. The Conservatives plan to reduce the levy to 17 per cent by 2020, from its current level of 19 per cent.

Labour, meanwhile, would gradually ratchet the rate up to 26 per cent, but they would also reintroduce the small profits rate for firms with profits below £300k.

The Conservatives maintain that a low tax environment is necessary for the UK to remain competitive, while Labour point out that its plans would mean corporation tax would remain well below the G7 average.

Self Assessment u-turn

Small business owners and the self-employed have also raised concerns about the government’s proposed changes to the Self Assessment regime.

Under the Making Tax Digital proposals, Self Assessment taxpayers could have been forced to file four tax returns a year, and invest in new software to bring their accounting systems up to date.

However, in April it was announced that the plans had been shelved. They did not appear in the Finance Bill, which was substantially cut in order for it to pass Parliament in time for the election.

You can read more about the parties’ plans in our guide to what the manifestos mean for small businesses.

How are you planning to vote, and why? Let us know in the comments.

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