Red tape for small firms under renewed fire after Cable blunder

IPSWICH: An accountancy firm has called for less red tape for small businesses after Business Secretary Vince Cable failed to pay his own tax on time.

Mr Cable was hit with a �500 penalty from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after the blunder over a VAT bill of up to �15,000 on his media work.

The Business Secretary - who has criticised firms which seek to avoid tax - admitted it was a “bit embarrassing” that his VAT liability “wasn’t spotted earlier”.

But he insisted that he “made no attempt to avoid tax” and the “oversight” had happened in good faith.

David Dixon, who owns small business TaxAssist Accountants in Ipswich, Colchester and Bishop’s Stortford said: “Self employed workers and small business owners are completely overburdened by the excessive red tape the government is binding them with. If our own government’s Business Secretary is unaware of his responsibilities to pay tax correctly, what chance does the average man on the street have?

“We work with more than 500 small local businesses to help them through the mass of red tape and in a survey we conducted recently, we found that more than 66% believed the laws and regulations governing small businesses need simplifying. The results of our nationwide survey have been taken to the House of Commons to support calls for change. Maybe this incident will now bring it to the forefront of government’s attention.”