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Professional bodies challenge government on tax simplification


Published: 11 Apr 2023 Update History

ICAEW has joined other professional bodies to propose a series of actions on tax simplification following the closure of the Office of Tax Simplification.

ICAEW, together with the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Association of Taxation Technicians and Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, has written to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. The bodies expressed their regret at the government’s decision to abolish the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS). 

The letter notes the clear mandate given to officials in the Treasury and at HMRC to focus on simplicity in tax policy and administration. The bodies offered their support to help officials realise this aim. The letter outlines the processes the professional bodies consider are needed: 

  1. Identify the characteristics of tax simplification.
  2. Ensure someone is accountable for delivery of tax simplification.
  3. Include simplification declarations in tax information and impact notes. 
  4. Gain external input to policy design and implementation.
  5. Seek feedback from a broad range of stakeholders.
  6. Ensure HMRC and Treasury engagement groups include tax simplification as a standing objective. 
  7. Increase awareness and improve guidance. 
  8. Allow time for development and integration of systems.
  9. Adopt a consistent approach across tax regimes. 
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