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Businesses tell Osborne: stop changing tax rules

Business groups are calling on George Osborne not to introduce any more new tax changes in his Autumn Statement next Wednesday.

The ICAEW accountancy body has said that the Autumn Statement should include "no more bombshells" so that businesses can plan ahead. In addition, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has written to ministers asking them to "put a brake on the number of changes to tax administration and compliance rules".

Both bodies are concerned about the administrative burden on businesses caused by new legislation.

The BCC has called for tax administration to be a key part of the Government's drive to cut regulation by £10bn in this Parliament. It wants business tax administration changes to be subject to Regulatory Policy Committee scrutiny, so they are properly assessed before being imposed on businesses.

It also wants to encourage ministers "to think twice about making changes" by subjecting any new tax administration measures to the Government's "one in, two out" rule on red tape.

Dr Adam Marshall, BCC Executive Director of Policy, said: 

"Ministers need to put a brake on the number of changes to tax administration and compliance rules. By taking steps to reduce the number and frequency of changes to tax rules, the government would at a stroke make a big improvement to the prospects for business."

Stephen Ibbotson, ICAEW Director of Business, said: 

"The chancellor should be wary of introducing additional measures which will impact on business. By not announcing any more bombshells in the Autumn Statement, the Government has a chance to give businesses the opportunity to plan with confidence for the longer term. This will allow them to focus their energies on growing both themselves and the economy."

The ICAEW is warning that businesses are struggling with the measures announced in the Summer Budget. 

Ibbotson said: "UK plc is already concerned about the introduction of the Living Wage, Apprenticeship Levy and increase in Insurance Premium Tax, not all of which have yet come into effect."
He added: "Businesses I meet do not anticipate any real benefit from these measures. Many of the businesses impacted agree that the reduction in corporation tax can't offset the negative implications of measures announced in July."

Image: Thanks to Altogether the Fool on Flickr.

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