CIOT calls for ministers to improve the standard of tax-making policy

Officials at the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) have said that the Government should use its upcoming Budget as “a springboard” for a change in direction on tax. 

The organisation has argued that the current process for making tax policy isn’t fit for purpose and believes that a new approach is needed if ministers are to reduce the number of expensive errors and embarrassing climb downs.

This month CIOT revealed a ten-point plan to improve the current system, working alongside the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Institute for Government (IFG).

Specific recommendations include providing greater detail about the guiding principles of tax policy, improving consultation exercises and opening up a greater public debate about the best approach to taxation.

Bill Dodwell, CIOT’s president, said: “The sheer volume of tax changes makes it difficult for the Government to consult effectively, early and widely enough on all the measures they bring forward.

“Parliament and taxpayers struggle to keep up with all the changes. Review of the impact of measures is patchy at best.”

The organisation is hopeful that the decision by the Chancellor to consolidate tax and spending announcements into a single Budget speech, rather than making two substantive statements a year, could help pave the way for change.

“Moving to a single annual fiscal event provides a real opportunity to get off the treadmill of constant change – reducing the strain on the Government’s tax policy resources and freeing up time for better consultation and scrutiny of those proposals that are put forward.”

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