Ireland's taxation system has been ranked as the number one concern among family businesses, according to the results of the first National Family Business Sentiment Survey published today.

The report was compiled by the Family Business Network and professional services firm Smith and Williamson. 

Respondents called for a more progressive taxation regime with changes specifically to Capital Acquisitions Tax and Capital Gains Tax, as well as reform of the insurance sector. 

Capital Acquisitions Tax is levied on the portion of an inheritance worth over a specific threshold and can be quite significant in the transfer of a business from one generation to the next. 

Capital Gains Tax is charged on the profit made on the disposal of any asset. 

Despite around half of family businesses feeling less confident about the current economic climate, six in ten say they are likely to create new jobs within the next 12 months.  

However, this growth is contingent on what is referred to as "a supportive political and economic environment which backs family businesses to overcome the current challenges they face". 

As well as taxation, other concerns include the impact of Brexit on logistics and supply chains, which was cited by two thirds of businesses. 

The cost of business insurance was ranked the third greatest concern.  

"The formulation of the National Economic Plan over the coming weeks offers a unique opportunity to centre Ireland's recovery around the growth and development of indigenous Irish businesses," John McGrane, Executive Director of the Family Business Network, said. 

"That vision can be achieved through a supportive taxation system and the establishment of a National Recovery Forum which would provide a space for family businesses, other employers, employees and Government to collectively agree how we shape Ireland's future economy," he added. 

It is estimated that around two-thirds of businesses in Ireland are family owned.