UK TAX SYSTEM is "dysfunctional" and "creaking at the seams" says CIOT head Anthony Thomas in a speech to members in Cambridge.
He called for "greater simplicity and clarity so people understand how much tax they should be paying and why".
The head of CIOT's criticisms come after the issue of tax avoidance has hit the headlines, with public debate about a cap on charitable donation and the chancellor's "shock" Britain's wealthiest legally avoid paying the top rate of tax.
Thomas went on to say many of the comments made by politicians and HM Revenue & Customs' officials "simply muddy the waters, are regrettable and unhelpful".
He added: "Statements which deliberately confuse tax evasion with tax avoidance do nothing to improve understanding of the way in which our tax system functions.
"When will politicians and senior revenue officials state clearly that tax evasion is illegal, tax avoidance is not?"
Thomas branded the media and political attention as "ill-informed, ill-conceived, ill-thought out, and often deliberately misleading".
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