Complex tax environment is quite literally, ‘taxing’ the brains of more than 850,000 UK SME leaders 
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Paul Skeldon
27th February 2017
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More than 850,000 UK small and medium-sized businesses are struggling with the challenges posed by the UK’s complex tax systems, according to a study from business insurance specialists Hiscox.

Results from the Hiscox survey1, supported by YouGov, reveal that 27% of small and medium-sized businesses – as many as 1.45 million of the 5.36 million SMEs nationally2 – are in need of support and advice when it comes to working their way through UK tax regulations, managing business finance and looking after their accounts.

Of those needing support in these areas, tax legislation was cited as the joint biggest challenge with 59% of respondents – equating to more than 850,000 SME businesses nationwide – struggling to work their way through the UK’s tax regulations. Bookkeeping and accounting (50%) and payroll and tax returns (45%) also came high in the list of challenges faced by UK SME businesses.

Spotlight on IT, technology and e-commerce firms

The UK’s complex tax environment was also found to be the number one challenge for IT, technology and e-commerce SME leaders. Of all the businesses requiring help, 76% of firms from the sector listed tax legislation as their biggest challenge. Payroll and tax returns (58%) was also cited as a major concern, along with bookkeeping and accounting (56%). 

The study also found that business leaders in this sector wanted more support in the areas of tax reliefs and incentives, and more information on how to manage tax efficiently as their businesses evolve and grow in the UK and abroad.

In response to the demands from IT, technology and e-commerce company owners – who called for more advice articles (48%), how to guides (43%) and thought leadership (19%) – Hiscox has worked alongside two accountants and tax specialists to create a series of free handy tax guides which are available at

The new Hiscox SME business guides consists of a four-part series in which Chris Cairns from Alliotts Chartered Accountants and Trevor Shaw from Dains Accountants use their combined 50 years’ experience advising businesses on their tax strategies to explain how they can tackle some of the major problems faced by IT and technology businesses in particular.

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Author: Paul Skeldon
Editor specialising in all things mobile.
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