The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is an educational charity and has a much wider brief than just the promotion of the interests of its members.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation works very hard to ensure that the qualification of Chartered Tax Adviser represents an assurance of high technical and professional standards, with the objective that consumers of tax advice prefer to use a CTA. The CIOT see this as initiating a virtuous circle, whereby membership of the Chartered Institute of Taxation is increasingly perceived as essential by tax advisers and their employers.
As part of the wider picture, the CIOT's Technical Committee co-ordinates the pro bono efforts of over 250 volunteers from the tax profession with the sole purpose of promoting better tax law and smoother operational procedures in its implementation. As intermediaries between tax authority and taxpayer, we are in an ideal position to appreciate the 'pinch points' in the tax system.
To this end, the Chartered Institute of Taxation's members provide thousands of voluntary hours every year: for instance the Technical Committee is invited to comment on Government papers and draft legislation and guidance, considered all of them and responded to the vast majority. The CIOT initiates proactive papers and requests for clarification and attended literally hundreds of meetings with representatives from the HMRC and HM Treasury.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation feels that we have a great deal to offer Government because of our closeness to all sizes of business and all types of taxpayer. It is our objective to be the preferred tax consultation body for regulators and administrators. Legislation frequently appears in a significantly different light when seen from the point of view of the business trying to achieve its commercial objectives, or the pensioner trying to make sense of his obligations and entitlements.
It is in everyone's interests to have well-constructed and workable tax legislation, and the Chartered Institute of Taxation has a role to play as the catalyst of well-informed public debate. The CIOT provide briefing notes to MPs, but on an entirely, and strictly observed, apolitical basis. We take a particular interest in how tax law impacts on those on low incomes, who cannot afford professional advice, through the activities of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group. In addition to its technical work, the Group has created opportunities for tax professionals to contribute thousands of pro bono hours to support socially excluded groups in society.
Finally, the Chartered Institute of Taxation has a contribution to make to the success of the UK economy in an era of global tax competition. The CIOT has active links with the Confédération Fiscale Européenne, with the EC Commission and with the OECD.
Tax advisers have questioned the need for two new tax evasion offences, following the Government’s announcement that it will go ahead with them.
Autumn Statement: Scottish tax advisers welcome tax credits reversal but express caution over apprenticeship levy
The Chartered Institute of Taxation’s Scottish Technical Committee has welcomed the announcement by the Chancellor that the decision to cut some tax credits will be reversed; these were due to be cut from April 2016.
The Chancellor announced today that an apprenticeship levy, set at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s paybill will be introduced in April 2017. Theoretically only large employers will be paying it, however in practice, many more employers – particularly small or micro employers – may find themselves contributing if the £15,000 ‘offset’ is not easy to understand or claim.
The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has expressed concern that using new digital tax accounts to make self-employed people report to HMRC more often will add to their workload.
The Chancellor’s planned ‘higher wage, lower welfare’ economy will translate simply into a lower welfare economy for those who work for themselves, say LITRG.