Opinion Former Article

CIOT welcomes capital gains tax report but warns against piecemeal approach

The Chartered Institute of Taxation has welcomed a report by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS)1 - written at the Chancellor’s request and published today - that highlights flaws with capital gains tax.

John Cullinane, CIOT’s Tax Policy Director, said:

“Today’s OTS report is a welcome step in exploring how capital gains tax distorts taxpayers’ behaviour, and its recommendations provide a useful framework for the Government to take the issues forward.

“The OTS Report benefits from the extensive consultation that lies behind it and we urge the Government to continue a consultative approach in weighing up the issues it raises, which go beyond simplification, important as that is. There are fundamental issues of fairness between different types of taxpayer, of how to most effectively encourage enterprise, and of what pragmatically raises the most revenue, and these do not all necessarily pull in the same direction. There are also interactions with the taxation of companies and trusts which need to be worked through.

“A diet of piecemeal Budget surprises would be unlikely to lead to a more coherent system or to achieve the best balance between these factors.”2

Notes for editors

1. The OTS Capital Gains Tax Review: Simplifying by design can be found on this link.

2. The CIOT/IFS/IfG Better Budgets report sets out a range of ways in which the coherence of tax change can be improved, including use of road-maps and establishing clear guiding principles and priorities for tax policy early in a Parliament.

3. The Chartered Institute of Taxation

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 19,000 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.

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