by rich airey
The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has expressed concern over a rise in the rate of corporation tax for small companies, which comes into force this week. The increase from 20% to 21% comes as the main corporation tax rate is cut from 30% to 28%.
The ACS said the rate changes were yet another example of the government failing to recognise the value of small businesses.
Other new legislation set to be introduced on the common commencement date of April 6 includes the need for companies with more than 50 employees to consult with staff over changes to the company, if more than 15 employees request it.
While company secretaries will no longer be compulsory, further red tape includes the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates. The certificates, which show the energy efficiency of buildings, will be required for the first time for the construction, sale and rent of all buildings, the only exception being dwellings with a very large floor area.
ACS public affairs manager Shane Brennan said: "By cutting the main corporation tax rate at the same time as increasing the small company rate, the government has shown that it does not truly value small businesses. Other changes to employment law add to the burden retailers already face and while we recognise the need to conserve energy and the costs this will save retailers, energy performance certificates are yet another piece of red tape which retailers have to deal with. The government needs to recognise the impact that this legislation has on small businesses."

New legislation - at a glance

Small company corporation tax rises from 20% to 21%
Information and consultation regulations to apply to companies with 50 or more employees
Energy Performance Certificates required for construction, sale or rent of buildings
New-look tax return form
Appointment of company secretary no longer compulsory