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”.
CIot urges HMRC to consider a delay to the 1 September 2017 introduction of its new corporate offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion
Three tax advisers have been arrested as part of a HMRC investigation into a suspected £132m tax fraud.
HMRC intends to extend the date for withdrawal of transitional relief on investment growth from 30 November 2016 to 31 March 2017
The current business rates system is over-complex and reform is needed, but reforms should focus first of all on simplifying the appeals process, particularly for businesses which are subject to business rates exemption