The taxman is harassing small businesses and threatening to derail the economic recovery, according to the Federation of Small Businesses.
While larger firms are claimed to have been allowed to forego payments totalling billions of pounds, small businesses have been warned that they face fines of up to £3,000 if they cannot produce paperwork dating back several years, says the Federation.
“The approach that HM Revenue and Customs is taking is of serious concern,” says Sheffield businessman and Federation regional chairman, Gordon Millward.
“In the current climate we need to be supporting our small businesses and entrepreneurs to enable them to drive economic growth and start to create more jobs. Small businesses rarely have dedicated in-house finance expertise and often find it hard to fully understand their requirements with HMRC.
“This is not about small businesses trying to avoid paying tax: it is about demonstrating the economic value of the enterprise sector and HMRC nurturing small businesses by providing the requisite guidance before they go in purely looking at how they can maximize peripheral non-tax revenues.”