Value of business tax reliefs jumps to a record £93.7bn per year

Tax reliefs available for British business have risen by almost 50 per cent over the past decade to 57.

The rise means that the amount claimed by British business in the past year has hit a record £93.7 billion, according to a new survey.

The new research, by Thomson Reuters, also said the tax system has become “enormously complex” for businesses, with the number and value of reliefs available changing each year.

It also found that back in 2012/13, only 39 reliefs were available, with a total value of £70.9 billion. The rise last year is up by another five per cent from the £89.3bn claimed the year before.

The research said the growth in the value of business tax reliefs claimed has been driven by the rise in the number of reliefs available.

Some of the main tax reliefs available include:

  • Employment Allowance (National Insurance relief)
  • Annual Investment Allowance
  • Business rates relief
  • Research and development tax relief
  • Creative industries tax relief
  • Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme
  • Enterprise Investment Schemes
  • The Patent Box

Your accountant will advise you on what tax reliefs are available to you.

There are now 57 different tax reliefs available to businesses in the UK that HM Revenue & Customs deems “significant enough” to report on, while several hundred more go unreported due to their low level of use. Many are so small that it is assumed they are worth negligible amounts to the business community.

Jas Sandhu Dade, head of Corporates Europe at Thomson Reuters, said that while tax reliefs play a “vital role” in encouraging business growth, the tax system has become “enormously complex” for businesses, with the number and value of reliefs available changing each year.

Dade said: “Initiatives like “levelling up” and decarbonising the economy are inevitably going to lead to additional, targeted tax incentives for businesses. The challenge is not just which tax incentives to add, but also which incentives they should now remove to simplify the tax system.”

“Removing tax breaks can be incredibly hard as it is going to attract fierce criticism from those businesses that benefited from those tax incentives. Few politicians would want to scrap a tax incentive if it made a sector less competitive internationally or cost jobs.”

She added: “At the current rate at which tax breaks are removed, it is unlikely that the Government will be able to make a serious dent in the number of tax reliefs, or stop the steady increase in the number of tax breaks.”

For help and advice with related matters, please contact our expert team today.

Posted in Business.