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FSB: Public Accounts Committee tax report hailed by business

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the report from the House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on helping new businesses meet their tax obligations.

Around 700,000 new businesses start up each year and their contributions to the Exchequer and to society can only be maximised if they survive. The PAC report contains ideas on how to reduce the burden on new businesses when dealing with the tax authorities to help more of them survive the crucial first few years.

Bill Knox, FSB Tax Chairman, said:

"Small businesses employ over twelve million people and they do not have a finance department to deal with tax rules. The owner has to deal with registration for tax whilst also struggling to establish the business and find new customers.

"When starting a new business the owner is taking a great personal risk and the state should do all it can to support them. If they succeed then they will provide employment for people in their local community and taxes to fund public sector services. But sixty per cent of new businesses fold in their first three years so it is incumbent on the Government to reduce the burden of administration to reduce that number of business failures.

"This report rightly recommends that the tax authorities make it easier for new businesses to register for tax and provide advice to them on how to meet their obligations. This will enable more businesses to grow and prevent them from innocently falling foul of the authorities because of the complexities of the system."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. Details of the Public Accounts Committee and the report can be found at www.parliament.uk/pac. Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 0207 219 1589, 07917 488 488, patersona@parliament.uk.

2. Small businesses employ 58% of the private sector workforce, contribute over 50% of UK GDP and make up more than 99% of all UK businesses.

3. The FSB is Britain's biggest business organisation with over 210,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the self-employed, and all those who run their own business. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk.

Contacts:

For interviews with FSB Chief Spokesman Stephen Alambritis or other senior FSB personnel please contact the FSB Press Office.

FSB Press Office

Matthew Knowles: 020 7592 8113 / 07917 628991

Simon Briault: 020 7592 8128 / 07917 628998

Belinda Webb: 020 7592 8121 / 07825 125 695

For regional FSB contacts please go to www.fsb.org.uk/regions

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