The challenges and risks of running a business

Apr 3, 2017 | Tony Byrne's View

The recent proposed National Insurance hike for the self-employed was the latest attack by the Tories on the wealth makers in society. Fortunately the public outrage was so great the government back-tracked. 

This Conservative government is unlike any Conservative government I have ever known in that it consistently targets businesses, property entrepreneurs and private investors with punitive tax rises. Worse still is the fact that these tax increases are retrospective. In addition to the tax increases the government is gradually withdrawing tax reliefs and allowances. 

What makes it all the more galling is the fact that these tax increases are often confusing, difficult to understand and disguised if not hidden. It’s a truly shameful way to treat the very people society needs the most – entrepreneurs. Why is this? It’s because such people create wealth and jobs which means that the knock on effect produces greater prosperity for all. 

As an entrepreneur for the last 30 years, one who has worked extremely hard, made lots of sacrifices and been through a lot of ups and downs, I am fully aware of just how challenging and risky it is to run businesses. When you succeed it is extremely rewarding but the sad fact is that the vast majority of start-up businesses fail. In the first 10 years 9 out of 10 new businesses fail. Over the next 10 years only 1 in 10 of the remaining businesses survives. So the odds are heavily stacked against new businesses. Of course, sadly entrepreneurism isn’t taught at school or University. 

Because of the risks that business owners take and because of the benefits they bring to society overall, I have long felt that it is only right that they should receive greater tax breaks. A risk premium if you like. After all if you are employed you have far greater job security, employment and health and safety protection, a salary and benefits including paid holidays etc. If you are a business owner you have little if any security. Let’s face it, if you mess up your business fails, you become unemployed and you most likely lose a lot of money. So it is right to reward those who bring the most benefit to society. 

Unfortunately recent tax trends of this government have turned this philosophy on its head. Now it is a case of the Conservatives taxing entrepreneurs, property landlords and investors ever more heavily because they are seen to be a soft target. This is truly disgraceful behaviour and very unlike the Tories.

To me it seems a case of the government killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. If this trend continues the wealth makers in society will no longer think it’s worth taking the risk if they are going to be too heavily taxed. When that day comes the whole country will be much poorer as a result because without entrepreneurism in society there is no prosperity.

The good news is that there still exist many ways to legitimately reduce your taxes whether you are an entrepreneur, a property landlord or a private investor. So why not contact us today to find out how you can lower your taxes?  You know it makes sense.

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