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Change Process For UK Tax Decisions, Says Report

17 January 2017


The UK Government must change the way it makes tax and budget decision to reduce taxpayer confusion, prevent costly errors, and avoid embarrassing u-turns, professional bodies have said in a report.

The Better Budgets report, prepared by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), and the Institute for Government (IfG), outlines steps to improve tax policy, including by publishing clearer guiding principles and priorities for tax policy. It proposes that the Government should also hold consultations before making key decisions and use external public reviews of the tax system to facilitate public debate.

It calls for the Treasury to vet measures before their inclusion in the budget speech, and adds that Parliament needs to improve the quality of its scrutiny of both the Chancellor's proposals and review the impact of changes once implemented.

"The lack of any explicit tax strategy allows policy to be made on the hoof and makes it harder to engage the public in a much-needed rational debate about tax," said IFS Director Paul Johnson. "The prize of a better tax system is enormously valuable and a better policy making process would make that prize more attainable"

TAGS: compliance | Budgets | tax | value added tax (VAT) | VAT legislation | budget | United Kingdom | legislation | VAT compliance matters | Tax

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