Take tax out of politics

Keith Daniels, a KPMG partner and CIoT president since last May, is calling for a radical rethink of the way tax law is developed. Politicians, he said, often do not properly understand the legislation they are putting in place.

He said: ‘There is virtually no-one in the country who can grasp the whole of the 1998 Finance Act at the first read.

‘I think parliament should contain itself with high-level principles and things that are politically sensitive, but development of detailed provisions and regulations need to come out of the hotbed of political activity which is burdened by very narrow timetables. It should be worked upon with bundles of common sense and lots of business experience.’ The new body, he said, should be staffed by paid experts from the Revenue, the profession and other interested sectors.

Daniels said he is in favour of a major simplification of the current system. ‘All this GAAR and tax law rewrite stuff is putting elastoplast on it. You have to completely rethink the way we determine the way the law is constructed and then promulgated.’

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