Opinion Former Article

Tax professionals respond to Business Rates review

Commenting on the publication of the Barclay Review of Business Rates, Moira Kelly, chair of the CIOT’s Scotland Technical Committee, said:

“Ken Barclay and his team have today fired the starting gun on the process of reforming Scotland’s business rates system and presented the Scottish Government with an opportunity to lead from the front in enacting lasting, meaningful reform.

“The review group has proposed a number of sensible measures – such as more frequent property valuations and delaying rate increases for expanded or improved properties.  These can help iron out some of the disadvantages inherent in the present system and provide taxpayers with tangible examples of reform within the boundaries of a broadly similar system.

“Most of those who pay business rates will understandably jump to the bottom line to work out how much better or worse off they will be under the proposals.  The Scottish Government must resist the temptation to engage in such a back and forth debate – which has hampered previous attempts at reform –  and instead focus on creating legislation that results in an enduring system of business taxation commanding widespread public support which is convenient, efficient and easy to administer.

“However the government decides to take forward today’s recommendations, it must ensure that taxpayers are able to understand how these changes will impact them and to commit to helping them navigate the inevitable period of transition that will follow.  Failure to simplify and streamline the current system runs the risk that we will fail to capitalise on the opportunity for reform that now exists.”

ENDS


Notes for editors

1.       The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)

The CIOT is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. Through our Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), the CIOT has a particular focus on improving the tax system, including tax credits and benefits, for the unrepresented taxpayer.

The CIOT draws on our members’ experience in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia to improve tax administration and propose and explain how tax policy objectives can most effectively be achieved. We also link to, and draw on, similar leading professional tax bodies in other countries. The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made in line with our charitable objectives: we are politically neutral in our work.

The CIOT’s 18,000 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.

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