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Businesses find red tape taxing

Map Business accountants and advisers owner Geoff Redpath believes businesses spend too much time on government requirements and approvals.
Map Business accountants and advisers owner Geoff Redpath believes businesses spend too much time on government requirements and approvals. Alistair Brightman

ON THE back of new federal figures that show tax red tape is a 500-hour per year burden on businesses, Fraser Coast operators have stressed the impact of other red tape on the region's businesses.

Researchers at University of New South Wales surveyed 159 businesses across the country and this month released figures that showed those businesses spent up to 493 hours and $28,000 per year on filling tax obligations.

Map Business Accounting and Advisers owner Geoff Redpath said while the survey results did not reflect tax costs for Fraser Coast businesses, he stood firmly behind the theme of the report in that red tape had majorly slowed businesses down in the past two decades.

He said the figures in the study absolutely reflected the heavy burden of government-required approvals, licences and other paperwork that had only grown since the survey began in 1995.

Mr Redpath said the lack of sharing between government departments meant businesses were left frustrated at having to give the same information over and over again.

"They want the government to move in to the 21st century," he said.

Maryborough Matilda owner Gary Jensen agreed that both federal and state red tape had gotten out of hand and agreed with the report's figures on federal tax.

As a small business owner, Mr Jensen said he especially felt pressured by the level of environmental requirements from government departments.

"It just seems to be a cash cow to make money off businesses," he said.

"There is no real community benefit," he said.

Both business figures agreed the time invested in government record-keeping and approvals had impacted on the ability to run a profitable business on the Fraser Coast.

Mr Jensen said legislators needed to look at government business requirements collectively rather than individually.

Topics:  australian government, business, red tape, tax, university of new south wales



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