FPB condemns “harassment and mistreatment” of small firms

Letter to Treasury also criticises excessive red tape


The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has written to the Treasury to condemn the “harassment and mistreatment” of small businesses during the current tax clampdown.

In a letter to exchequer secretary David Gauke, the FPB claims that small firms are receiving an unfair share of attention from the current spot checks campaign, while bigger firms get away with unpaid taxes worth millions of pounds.

The FPB is concerned that small businesses are being fined excessive amounts for relatively minor tax transgressions, and suffering from over-zealous regulation – with 88% of business red tape now falling on smaller enterprises.

The letter follows recent revelations from the Public Accounts Committee, which showed that unpaid taxes from bigger firms could amount to more than £25bn, and prompted the prime minister to demand a more stringent approach.

FPB chairman Phil Orford said: “Entrepreneurs are crying out for a better tax regime that supports their ambitions and is conducive to growth, not one that provides constant hurdles to overcome and punishes them disproportionately.   “Operating such a strict, punitive small business records checks regime while effectively allowing large companies to do as they please is completely unfair.”  

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