CIOT: Tax on Christmas trees – Announcing the winner of the ‘Challenge the Chancellor’ competition

The winners of this year’s Challenge the Chancellor competition are from Malvern St James School in Worcestershire. Their team, Santa’s Little Helpers, proposed a tax on real Christmas trees in order to protect the environment.

John Cullinane, The Chartered Institute of Taxation’s (CIOT) President, says: “The team used tax as an instrument to change the way people behave. The tax they proposed was for the good of the environment. The entry brings to the fore the serious question of how we dispose of real Christmas trees. A tax on Christmas trees would be a political challenge for any Chancellor but the team put in place an incentive scheme where the tax is refunded if the tree is recycled. All in all the winning entry made a very impressive, well argued case.”

The winning team consists of: Angie Wong, Rasa Laiwejpitaya and Orayaporn Karnchanachari.
John Cullinane adds: “Once again all the entries this year were very strong. The CIOT is very proud to be involved in a competition that encourages school pupils to think intellectually and creatively about taxation.”

The team will be given their prize on Wednesday 25 April by John Healey, Financial Secretary to the Treasury.

Notes to Editors
The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is a registered charity (number 1037771) and is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT deals with all aspects of direct and indirect taxation. Its primary purpose is to promote education in and the study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of its key aims is to achieve a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made solely in order to achieve its aims: it is entirely apolitical in its work. The 14,000 members of the CIOT have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’.

The Institute was established in 1930 and received its Royal Charter in 1994. It is a United Kingdom member of the Confédération Fiscale Européenne (CFE), the umbrella body for 150,000 tax advisers in Europe. As part of its charitable activities, the CIOT also sponsors the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group that works to improve and simplify the tax system so as to make it more responsive to the needs of those who cannot afford to pay for tax advice. The Institute offers the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation as a specialist qualification for international tax practitioners primarily working in corporate tax.