Current tax system branded “punishingly complex”

Senior business figures have urged ministers to simplify the UK’s corporate tax regime.

Influential individuals including Luke Johnson, who established the Pizza Express chain, and Tim Hames, from the British Venture Capital Association, supported the call for change in an open letter to The Times newspaper.

The missive was also supported by the Institute of Directors (IoD), entrepreneurs and investors.

One of their chief concerns is that the current rules are “punishingly complex” and do very little to distinguish between multinational companies and SMEs.

The signatories believe that the Autumn Statement – now just a month away – is an ideal opportunity for the Chancellor to take the steps to introduce the reforms which they believe would unlock greater investment in both jobs and growth.

The letter said: “The system is out of kilter with the modern economy in ways that are hindering growth and reducing trust, whether through unnecessary complexity or perceived unfairness.”

Stephen Herring, the IoD’s head of taxation, said that a number of measures needed to be considered by the Chancellor to support entrepreneurs in the UK.

“Companies have a responsibility to pay into the system on which they depend for their success. At the same time, the Government should focus on creating simple and fair taxes that boost innovation and business creation.”

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