Opinion Former Article

Slimline Budget can help tax system get fit for purpose

The Chartered Institute of Taxation has praised the Chancellor for delivering a Budget with fewer tax changes – and fewer measures in total – in it than any Budget or Autumn Statement since at least 2010. It is also the shortest ‘red book’ for any fiscal event since 2010.

The need to ‘do less and do it better’ was central to the ‘Better Budgets’ report published in January by the CIOT, the Institute for Government and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

George Crozier, CIOT Head of External Relations and one of the co-authors of the Better Budgets report, said:

“The rate of tax change in recent years has been fast and furious. All those involved in tax policy – inside and outside government – are on a treadmill of constant change. Moving to a single fiscal event provides a real opportunity to get off this treadmill – reducing the strain on the Government’s resources and freeing up time for a better, more strategic, more measured approach to tax policy making.

“For example it should release more resource for proactive consultation – aiming to get views in from beyond the ‘usual suspects’; it should free up more time for post-implementation review of the effectiveness of tax changes; it should enable government to engage consultees at an earlier stage in their deliberations, discussing issues and objectives in the round before options have been narrowed down.

“We hope the slimming down of the Budget will enable HMRC and the Treasury to step off the policy treadmill and spend more time working on the overall health of the tax system.”

Notes for editors

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.

Contact: George Crozier, Head of External Relations, 0207 340 0569 or gcrozier@tax.org.uk (Out of hours: 07740 477 374)

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