CIoT: ‘Is consultation dead?’

Consultation on tax changes appears to be dying, the Chartered Institute of
Taxation has said.

Responding to last week’s Budget, the tax institute has also said that tax
law is now Kafkaesque, requiring businesses to act irrationally or be punished,
a ‘Catch-22’ situation.

Stephen Coleclough, chairman of the CIoT’s technical committee, said: ‘Are we
seeing the death of the consultation process – or that it is only used when HMRC
wish? In the areas of trusts, computers at home and income tax filing dates
there has been no consultation on what amounts to a major reversal of government
(and not just Treasury) policy. On the trusts reform, after two and a half years
of consultation it would now appear that that consultation has proceeded on an
entirely false premise.’

There is widespread anger in the profession about the lack of consultation on
major issues, particularly on trusts.

The CIoT said that businesses now have no certainty about their tax affairs
either: Retrospective tax moves, the demise of a successful government
initiative (HCI) and a new declaration on VAT (‘requiring one to plead not
guilty of an as yet undetermined and arbitrarily defined offence’) had all
damaged faith in government, the institute said.

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