Third of SMEs 'missing out on tax breaks'
A third of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are missing out on tax breaks, a study has found.
Quarterly research by RSM Tenon suggests 33 per cent of SMEs didn't know about tax concessions that could potentially benefit their companies existed, with the highest proportion, 37 per cent, based in the north.
The most popular tax break was the reduction in corporation tax, with 33 per cent valuing it highest, followed by business rates at 13 per cent.
Just one in ten SMEs surveyed said they considered research and development tax credits to be the most beneficial to their business – this is despite the government increasing them by 225 per cent last April to encourage more innovation among UK business.
The relaxation in the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) was the least popular tax break for the SMEs surveyed, with only one per cent saying it was the biggest tax break for their company.
Criteria around the EIS has been relaxed by George Osborne the chancellor, as part of an effort to help businesses raise finance.
Paul Belsman, head of tax at RMS Tenon, said the government would be disappointed with the figures.
"It is interesting that despite the various tax reliefs introduced by governments, most businesses still consider the headline corporate tax rate to be the statistic they are most interested in," he said.
"It is also disappointing that only one in three UK entrepreneurs are unaware of tax breaks that could benefit their company – again an interesting finding when you consider the effort the government puts into devising targeted tax incentives."