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This is what contractors want from today’s Budget

While Chancellor George Osborne drones on today about the new Budget, here’s what contractors, freelancers and other small business owners would like to hear.

Just in time for the chancellor to reveal new tax planning measures in the Budget, a new YouGov survey of SMEs – which includes freelancers and contractors – has discovered that the kinds of things that self-employed Brits want to see discussed include things like late payments and tax relief. The survey, which polled more than 800 business owners of firms that had 50 employees or fewer, found that the most wanted subject was further relief from corporation tax for small businesses and start-ups.

Small businesses just need corporation tax breaks, as the majority of the respondents said they had less than £1 million in turnover. In fact, those surveyed said they would like to see business rates rubbed out of existence completely for any firm that has less than £800,000 in turnover.

Next up was a call for more straightforward tax, especially when it came for small firms, sole traders and self-employed contractors. HMRC needs to tackle the issue of tax returns, these respondents said, though most of the respondents that ranked this choice high tended to work in accounting and finance roles.

Meanwhile, the third most popular choice was support for late payments. Small firms need more support in dealing with late payments from larger companies, as these bigger firms have a tendency to bully contractors, freelancers, and SMEs by delaying payment for goods and services. There needs to be stricter penalties for these late payments, and small business owners want these penalties enforced on large firms that keep paying them late.

It’s obvious from these top three that SMEs are sick and tired of being pushed around by larger firms – or being subjected to things like corporation tax when multinational companies seem to have a knack for getting away without paying even a penny in some situations. Whether or not George Osborne is going to address any of these things remains to be seen, but honestly I’m not going to hold my breath. The chancellor doesn’t really have much of a proven track record when it comes to supporting SMEs and contract workers, though I suppose we could all be pleasantly surprised today couldn’t we?

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