Corporation tax: small businesses footing the bill for North Sea oil and gas?

New statistics indicate that UK small businesses are making up for the failings of North Sea oil and gas, as the tax bill for SMEs climbs while North Sea tax takings plummet.

Rising tax for small businesses

Small businesses have seen an eight per cent rise in their corporation tax over the past year.

In 2015 small businesses paid £30 billion in corporation tax, but this year that rose to a staggering £32 billion.

Conrad Ford, the CEO of finance company Funding Options, says the government needs to “ease the tax burden on small businesses”, suggesting they increase the Annual Investment Allowance so that small businesses can invest in themselves.

The Annual Investment Allowance is currently capped at £200,000 per business per year, meaning businesses do not get tax relief for any of their investment over that amount.

Tax cuts for big corporations

And while small businesses are seeing their taxes soar, those in North Sea oil and gas have had yet another tax cut.

In 2008 the tax for North Sea Oil and gas worked out at over £10 billion. Last year it was only £2.5 billion, a decrease of more than 75 per cent.

Ford goes on to suggest that “with the corporation tax take now at record levels the government can now afford to ease the tax burden on small business.”

“Small business are an engine of growth and new jobs – the government should be doing all it can to foster a business culture that allows SMEs to thrive.”

Is the government being unfair to small businesses? Sound off in the comments section below.

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