Price of tax collection hits small businesses hardest

March 22, 2010

The cost of tax collection in the UK is almost 20 billion pounds per annum, according to a recent report from Britain’s Institute of Economic Affairs, a free-market lobby group.

The amount reflects the cost of compliance and administration as well as Britain’s handicap of having the longest tax code in the developed world, co-authors Francis Chittenden, Hilary Foster and Brian Sloan write in “Taxation and Red Tape”.

“The authors believe that the cost of tax-related red tape to businesses could be reduced by about 5 billion pounds,” says Philip Booth, editorial and programme director of the IEA, which published the research.

“This may not sound a lot but the burden of tax compliance on small businesses is disproportionately large. This burden remains hidden from public view but the costs are very real.”

The authors also argue for the abolition of the annual Finance Act.

These issues should be addressed by political parties in the lead-up to the general election, Booth told Reuters in an video interview at his London office.

You can watch the video below or if you can’t see it, click on the headline of this blog post to view it.

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