Nick Storer, chairman and director at Bentleys, told AccountantsDaily that current compliance obligations are preventing small businesses from growing, particularly from hiring additional staff.
His comments came after the release of Bentley’s The Voice of Australian Business 2015: Business Confidence & Tax survey, which found one in five businesses (21 per cent) believe business taxes have a ‘substantial’ impact on their ability to employ new staff, while the same amount find taxes ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ hard to understand.
“It is difficult for an employer with only two or three employees to put on another employee because they have to report all the PAYG-withholding tax.
“If they just had a situation where they could perhaps employ people without having to report other than perhaps a tax file number back to the tax department it would make their lives a lot easier," Mr Storer said.
Mr Storer said that in some cases, his small business clients are required to report to three levels of government, which, in many cases, can create unsustainable compliance costs. To ease this burden, he said, there are some relatively simple measures the government could employ.
“There's a lot of streamlining which could be achieved, and I know the government over the past few years has started working in those areas, but for example, reporting less frequently than monthly, perhaps quarterly, perhaps six-monthly and in smaller businesses cases perhaps just reporting on an annual basis (would ease the compliance burden significantly).”
Mr Storer said Bentleys is currently educating clients to help them manage more or their own compliance work in an attempt to reduce the administrative burden.
“We are trying, on a national basis, to teach our clients to deal with the compliance that is required by GST, WorkCover, PAYG withholding and so forth.
“We are very happy to help with compliance, and that is a very important part of our business, but we are even happier if we can provide those businesses with the sort of advice which will help them to grow and improve their business,” Mr Storer said.
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