Research from the Forum of Private Business (FPB) found that compliance bills have increased by 4 per cent since 2013, and now cost businesses a total of £19.2bn each year.
Small businesses (with less than 9 employees) were hit the hardest, with a bill of £164 per employee, almost seven times more than the cost for larger companies – increasing the financial burden of already risky enterprises.
Time was also said to be an issue. 40 per cent of businesses surveyed said understanding and implementing new measures was a costly procedure.
Phil Orford, chief executive of the FPB, said: “Our research shows little has changed in terms of what’s costing small business the most for compliance costs.”
“We believe this is largely down to the introduction of RTI, and firms having to pay a payroll specialist to manage their employees’ PAYE bills, [and] the increasing need to employ specialists to advise ahead of pensions auto-enrolment.”
The introduction of RTI (Real Time Information, the new HMRC payroll process) alone costs businesses £311m a year, the FPB said, compared with the HMRC figure of £120m.
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