CIOT welcomes view of Treasury select committe report

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) welcomes the view expressed by the Treasury Select Committee report that states that the UK business tax must be simplified. This is vital for our competitiveness.

John Cullinane, Chairman of the CIOT’s Corporate Taxes Sub-Committee, says: “The CIOT previously welcomed the new Chancellor, Alistair Darling’s, announcement that simplification would be key to how the tax system develops in the future.”

The CIOT has welcomed several simplification moves announced by the Government to date, while criticising the lack of prior consultation on significant changes to the tax system.

John Cullinane continues: “Real simplification will be very challenging. Almost every piece of the current over-complex mess brings some potential benefit to someone. Taxpayers and representative bodies must give a balanced response to Government proposals to tackle this problem – we cannot simply criticise every proposal because it has some disadvantages as well as benefits. Equally, the Government needs to consult in advance on major changes so investors and businesses large and small do not have it sprung on them – and do get some sense of the future direction of change.

“The Government is finally responsible for decisions on the tax system and may have to make decisions that many do not like – consultation will improve the quality of those decisions and build stronger support for them, even if some outcomes are not welcomed by those consulted. In short, Government and representative bodies alike will need to be very grown up if the Treasury Committee’s warning is to stand any chance of being heeded.”

The CIOT is an educational charity and one of its objectives is to ensure that the tax system works.

John Cullinane adds: “The CIOT also believes it would be very useful for there to be a review of how tax law is made and scrutinised in the first place, so as we don’t recreate the problem as fast as we try to tackle it.”

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For press information contact Simon Goldie on 020 7245 4122 (direct line), 07879 497316 (mobile). Email sgoldie@ciot.org.uk