Today I submitted an open letter, alongside champions of entrepreneurship from across the business community, calling for reform of our unnecessarily complex tax code to turn the UK’s army of small and scaling companies into job-creating machines. This is to announce a follow up to our Tax Lifecycle of an Entrepreneur report focusing on the barriers to growth from the current taxation system. Produced by Prelude Group in association with the Institute of Directors and Grant Thornton UK LLP, Britain Unlocked: A Tax Code for Global Ambition looks at both the macro effect of tax take, reliefs and costs of administration and real life case studies of high growth entrepreneurs from The Supper Club.
The Times today published a story based on the contents of the letter, which you can read in full below.
Open letter to The Times
The vote to leave the European Union will be a catalyst for great change across our economy. Few areas are in as urgent need of reform as our complicated tax code, which does not distinguish between SMEs and multinationals or recognise the impact of small businesses on job creation.
The tax code now stretches to more than 20,000 pages and yet – despite its thoroughness – it is simply not fit for purpose for British businesses, in particular those looking to scale up. While the UK is a great place to start a business, with more than half a million founded last year, the number that succeed in growing is still relatively small – and our tax code is a significant hurdle for our most ambitious companies to overcome.
Indeed, if the tax code is to adapt to a 21st century economy, its reforms must be as entrepreneurial as our fast-growth companies. The Autumn Statement, to be delivered by the Chancellor in just over a month, must be far-reaching, practical and radical, expanding those reliefs for businesses that are creating employment and revitalising local economies. To enable domestic growth and global ambition, we must reduce the burden of business rates, simplify the process of compliance and change the structure of employment taxes. Anything less would be a missed opportunity as we rewrite our role in the world.
Duncan Cheatle, Founder, Prelude Group and Rise To
Ken Olisa OBE, Deputy Chairman, Institute of Directors and Founder, Restoration Partners
Stephen Herring, Head of Taxation, Institute of Directors
Jonathan Riley, Head of Tax, Grant Thornton UK LLP
Luke Johnson, Chairman, Centre for Entrepreneurs
Debbie Wosskow OBE, Founder, Love Home Swap
Jon Moulton, Chairman, Better Capital
Tim Hames, Director General, BVCA
Tony Langham, Non-Executive Chairman, Unbiased
Emma Jones MBE, CEO, Enterprise Nation
Mark Brownridge, Director General, EISA
Jenny Tooth, Chief Executive, UK Business Angels Association
Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, CBE, DL
Dale Murray CBE