Business leaders call for tax code simplification

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Business leaders have called on the government to simplify the “punishingly complex” tax system for private companies.

In a letter to The Times today, Luke Johnson, the venture capital investor who built up Pizza Express, director-general of the British Venture Capital Association Tim Hames and accountants Grant Thornton have said that the current system “does not sufficiently distinguish between [small and medium-sized businesses] and multinationals or recognise the impact of small businesses on job creation”.

The letter reads: “The system is out of kilter with the modern economy in ways that are hindering growth and reducing trust, whether through unnecessary complexity or perceived unfairness.”

The leaders urge the government to use the Autumn Statement next month to overhaul a “daunting labyrinth” of tax rules that hinder investment in jobs and growth.

The Institute of Directors will today also publish a radical new proposal for a “SME tax” to replace corporation tax, The Times says.