TaxPersonal TaxEnglish ICA condemns ‘muddled’ Finance Bill

English ICA condemns 'muddled' Finance Bill

The English ICA this week condemned the latest Finance Bill as a prime example of muddled thinking and bad drafting.

In a submission to chancellor Gordon Brown, the institute’s tax faculty argued that implementation of a number of provisions will make the UK less competitive, particularly in relation to the UK’s G7 partners.

Tax faculty technical manager Francesca Lagerberg said: ‘Not only is this one of the largest Finance Bills ever, it shows little regard for the principles of good taxation. We are keen advocates of properly considered and well structured tax legislation.

‘But much of this Bill is so obscure, or needlessly complex that it’s hard to understand what it is designed to achieve. Moreover there are a number of provisions which will have as damaging effect on UK plc.’

The faculty focused on structural problems with the Bill and associated problems.

It said there was little consultation on the economic impact of certain key measures, such as double tax relief proposals. Budget press releases and technical material were given a political slant which obscured the main issues. Fundamental changes to existing provisions have not prompted a review of the principles underlying those rules.

Additionally, the institute said there was no consistency in the use of traditional and Tax Law Rewrite styles in drafting clauses. There were many examples of badly drafted provisions such as anti-avoidance rules on trusts. It is also wrong for parliament to delegate legislative powers to the revenue authorities which can increase their own rights or expand a tax charge.

Tax Faculty website

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