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Small business group calls for tax reform in Emergency Budget

BRITAIN’S small businesses have called on the chancellor to reform the tax system – particularly around business rates – in the upcoming Emergency Budget.

In its first submission to the new government, The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged George Osborne to “strengthen the landscape for small businesses” and enterprise by continuing to reduce the deficit, stimulate growth and back ambitious small businesses.

The body has added its voice to those – including former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King – seeking reform of the business rates, which many believe is outdated and penalises businesses that require physical property to run.

A review is already underway, and the FSB is seeking assurances it will provide “a new, fully reformed system that is flexible, fair, transparent and efficiently administered”.

The review is set to report back before the 2016 Budget, will look at how businesses use property, what the UK can learn from other countries about local business taxes, and how the system can be modernised to better reflect changes in the value of property.

The group praised the seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS) – which provides relief to individual investors in small, early-stage companies – and entrepreneurs’ relief, a tax break for business owners. Both, the FSB said, have had a “positive effect in stimulating growth”.

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