Whitehall welcomes moves to cut red tape on taxation

The proposals, which will be published next month in a consultation document, aim to reduce the complexity of the current arrangements and to make it easier for employers and payroll administrators to make accurate deductions.

‘The government is committed to helping businesses to comply with their tax and other legal obligations. We want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so as part of our overall aim to minimise the burden and cost of regulation. These new proposals will be another step in the right direction.’

Paymaster general Dawn Primarolo announced the proposals in a package of deregulatory measures at a meeting of the Panel for Regulatory Accountability, chaired by Mowlam.

Primarolo explained that the proposals would include giving employers more time to deal with difficult payments and providing simplified arrangements for accounting for NI contributions paid on behalf of employees seconded abroad.

The document would also set out options for ensuring that Inland Revenue officers adopt a common approach to examining employers’ tax and NIC records.

She said: ‘These proposals build on the substantial package of measures we announced in the Budget. We want to offer businesses and individuals practical help and support in their dealings with government so that compliance with tax and other legal obligations becomes simpler and easier.’

Primarolo also announced two major studies on VAT and corporation tax in the non-financial sector to be undertaken in the next year. They are the next stage in a four-year programme of research into tax compliance costs, which will enable the Revenue and Customs & Excise to identify those areas of tax that are most burdensome to business.

She also revealed progress on the Revenue’s Tax Law Rewrite project. The project’s first Bill – on capital allowances – will be published for final consultation at the end of July. The aim is to introduce it in parliament in November.

Civil penalties will also be introduced for administrative infringements of customs law currently subject to criminal penalties to bring them into line with those operating for VAT.

Cautious welcome for changes to share option NIC

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