The concerns of some of the local businesses within the Lewes constituency were raised by MP Maria Caulfield during Treasury Questions in the Commons today, following a meeting with the Seaford Chamber of Commerce.
The Lewes MP outlined to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the worries about the quarterly tax returns and the impact that this will have on the costs to small businesses, also suggesting a threshold that could be introduced for small businesses, so that they are exempt from this.
The comments were made with reference to the Making Tax Digital Project, and its requirement that businesses will have to update their tax affairs and inform HMRC at least quarterly what their main source of income is. The time and costs required to provide this data is directly disadvantageous to smaller businesses, who lack the funding and manpower of other larger businesses.
After welcoming Maria’s interaction with her local Chamber of Commerce, The Financial Secretary acknowledged businesses concerns, and admitted that although this process probably should be digital, the consultation process has revealed that there are various concerns from the perspective of small businesses.
The Financial Secretary also outlined that some of the smallest businesses have been exempted from the threshold. However, she stressed that the Treasury don’t recognise the Federation of Small Businesses’ figure on the cost and haven’t seen the assumptions that underpin it.
Maria commented: “It is always a pleasure to meet with Chamber of Commerce groups, and very much welcome their feedback, so that I can raise it directly with decision makers here in Westminster.”
“I was delighted to be able to do just that during Treasury Questions this morning, and I welcome the Financial Secretary’s response, making clear that there will be an exemption for the smallest businesses from the digitalisation of the tax process. I hope that this response will be welcome news for small businesses across my constituency.”
To watch Maria’s question, and the Ministers response, click here