Government not doing enough to support start-ups, survey finds

Report by tax refund specialists Taxback.com calls out Government on SME supports

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. The survey found that over 90 per cent of respondents said they would like to see the Government introduce greater support for new business start-ups.  Photograph: Paulo Nunes dos Santos/Bloomberg

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. The survey found that over 90 per cent of respondents said they would like to see the Government introduce greater support for new business start-ups. Photograph: Paulo Nunes dos Santos/Bloomberg

 

The Government is not doing enough to support SMEs and business start-ups, a survey by tax refund specialists Taxback.com suggests.

On the back of Budget 2020 which did not see an expansion of the tax relief available to entrepreneurs on capital gains, and with less than three weeks to go before the October 31st pay and file deadline, the survey found that over 90 per cent of respondents said they would like to see the Government introduce greater support for new business start-ups namely in the form of tax breaks.

An equally overwhelming 88 per cent also said they would welcome changes to the self-assessed pay and file tax regime.

The survey was based on more than 2,000 taxpayers, who were asked about their views on Government supports and structures for Ireland’s SMEs.

“Lots of industry bodies and voices over the last few days have made known their disappointment about the lack of additional supports for SMEs and start-ups in this year’s budget,” Joanna Murphy, chief executive of Taxback.com said.

Damp squib

“The budget was, from many angles, a bit of a damp squib. This was to be expected because of the Brexit shadow we are all under,” she said.

“Perhaps now is not the most opportune time to commit further funding to the SME sector but it is abundantly apparent from the survey that the vast majority of taxpayers in Ireland would support additional incentives and supports for small businesses, with a whopping 91 per cent of respondents overall feeling that new supports, specifically through the suspension of income tax, would be welcome,” she said.

Ms Murphy said a moratorium of one year was the most popular choice with 43 per cent of respondents favouring that option, with just over 18 per cent opting for a suspension of income tax for three years.

“The findings point to a public appreciation of the importance of small and start-up businesses in the country which is perhaps unsurprising given they are responsible for two-thirds of employment,” she said.

“The feedback may also point to an air of trepidation for Irish businesses given the uncertainties posed by Brexit,” Ms Murphy added.

Taxback.com said that under the current system start-ups are liable to pay income tax and levies at rates of 20 per cent and 41 per cent respectively on profits from business activities carried out by a sole trader/partnership.