Leadership & Productivity

Mid-sized businesses see tax policy as a growth opportunity

3 min read

22 November 2017

Former special projects journalist

Around 78 per cent of mid-sized businesses in a survey claimed tax policy was an opportunity to drive growth.

Following a survey of 700 mid-sized UK businesses on their attitudes to tax policy, 78 per cent claimed it was an opportunity to drive growth.

The opportunities that tax policy provides were cited as: job creation (48 per cent); improving margins (39 per cent); investing in capital expenditure (35 per cent); supporting exporting (29 per cent), and attracting investment (26 per cent).

Only 24 per cent of respondents said that their priority was to meet compliance requirements and 19 per cent of mid-sized businesses said their priority was to protect the bottom line.

Mike Linter, head of national markets tax at KPMG, said: “Most mid-sized businesses are on board with government strategy and appreciate the growth opportunities that a well-considered and transparent tax strategy can offer.

“While it may be a surprise to some that few companies are solely focused on protecting their bottom line, it is encouraging that the prevailing attitude is that tax policy, though incentives and reliefs, can boost employment, investment and revenues.”

However, the survey also found that the complexity of tax rules is a barrier for many businesses. In fact, 38 per cent of mid-sized businesses described current tax regulations as too complex.

The perception of complexity varied by region, with 60 per cent in the South West, 47 per cent in the Midlands, 46 per cent in Yorkshire and the North East believing the system is too complex. By comparison, only 23 per cent in London said the same.

In addition, 72 per cent of respondents claimed that they felt large multi-national corporations have influenced tax policy too much.

Linter added: “Clearly, there is more work to be done in giving businesses of all shapes and sizes a stronger voice in shaping tax policy. The government should consider new ways to work with businesses to ensure that they feel engaged and have the chance to steer policy in a way that will foster growth and investment in this critical segment of the economy.”

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.