Call for Chancellor to reform tax policy approach

A group of tax experts is calling on the Chancellor to take a more considered approach to making tax policy in line with international practice and reduce the compliance burden

CIOT, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and Institute for Government has written to the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of next week’s Budget, saying more needs to be done to tackle the ‘confusion and burden on businesses and individuals created by the proliferation of tax measures over the previous two decades’.

The three organisations are calling om the Chancellor to maintain the government’s commitment to holding just a single principal annual fiscal event.

They argue that reducing the frequency of changes of direction could release resources for more considered policymaking, more proactive consultation, production of higher quality legislation and more effective implementation.

They also want to see a strategic approach to tax policy, setting clear guiding principles and objectives.

This would see the Chancellor making a statement early in parliament to spell out his priorities and approach for the tax system, in order to help promote stability and predictability.

In addition, the bodies want to see the road-map approach to tax policy making extended, setting out the direction of travel and future reform for areas or themes, such as the tax treatment of savings and pensions, environmental taxes, property taxation and corporate taxes.

They want the Chancellor to prioritise full, open and early consultation on tax reforms, arguing that too many consultations have begun when key decisions have already been made, shutting off potentially better options to achieve the same goal.

Finally, the letter calls for a more systematic evaluation of tax measures, including tax reliefs.

Rishi Sunak’s first Budget is on 11 March.

Letter to the Chancellor

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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