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Chancellor must use Budget to do more for small businesses, says Solihull acocountant

A Solihull-based accountant has called on Chancellor George Osborne to use his forthcoming Budget to do more to simplify tax for small and growing businesses.

A Solihull-based accountant has called on Chancellor George Osborne to use his forthcoming Budget to do more to simplify tax for small and growing businesses.

Lucas Markou, a partner at Solihull-based accountants and business advisers Jerroms LLP said: "The prospects for these businesses are vital if we are to return to a growing economy and I would like to see a real effort made to make the tax system less bureaucratic and more user friendly for them.

"As an example, I would like to see the threshold at which businesses have to register for VAT increased from £77,000 to let us say £100,000, immediately easing their administrative burden. I would also like to see corporation tax rates reduced more quickly for both small and large businesses alike."

Mr Markou also believes that more houses should be taken out of the Stamp Duty Land Tax net to boost the UK housing market: "I suggest the level at which this tax kicks in should be increased from £125,000 to £250,000," he said.

Mr Markou also wants the Chancellor to do more to help working families with childcare costs, saying that that such a change would be a boost for the regions economy as well as helping hard pressed families.

"The cost of childcare is rising faster than pay increases," he said. " If we do not help working parents to a greater degree with childcare costs, vital skills could be lost to the workplace as parents have to stay at home or work restricted hours.

"Currently, childcare vouchers provided by employers are potentially free of all income tax and national insurance for up to £243 a month, where the beneficiary joined an employer scheme before April 6, 2011.

"For those who joined after that, the benefit to the taxpayer is effectively restricted to the basic rate of income tax on this amount.

"These limits are just too low and they do little to help parents facing childcare costs, which, in the UK, are some of the highest in Europe. Financial support given should be increased to reflect the significant burden of these costs for working parents," said Mr Markou.

In recent weeks, the government has announced that the maximum number of two year-olds and upwards that each carer can look after is to be increased from four to six, with the suggestion that this will lead to reduced costs.

Mr Markou says that although this is a step in the right direction, what we need is a more generous childcare tax break for working parents.

 

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