CIOT statement regarding resignation of Paul Gray

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is naturally deeply concerned about the implications of the Chancellor’s statement this afternoon regarding the security breach of child benefit information.

The security of tax data is a vital cornerstone of the UK’s tax system. Any breach has to be taken very seriously and it is clearly right that there should be an independent review. The CIOT will be ready to cooperate with this.

The CIOT has long argued that the tax system has become so complex that it cannot run efficiently. Faced with such a complicated system a merger between two large government departments into HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was bound to produce difficulty. The CIOT has advocated simplifying the tax system before carrying out any systemic changes, and in the context of a merger of this size, time for it to bed down was always going to be necessary.

We wish to place on record our appreciation of the work that Paul Gray carried out as chairman of HMRC. We have always found him to be very keen to engage with the CIOT and other professional bodies and to benefit from the experience that our members had in dealing with the tax system. We look forward to working in a similar way with his successor. He or she will have a huge challenge to manage a tax system that is too complex and which is subject to over-frequent change, whilst at the same time providing leadership and building morale at HMRC.

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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.