Leader – Tax reform calls grow louder.

Anne Redston is a worthy winner of the Accountancy Age Personality of the Year award. The Ernst & Young partner has made a major contribution to numerous tax debates and has given her time and talents to groups ranging from the Chartered Institute of Taxation to the National Association of Pension Funds.

But the fact that readers voted her to victory also reflects continuing anger about IR35. Redston has been a leading figure in the profession’s opposition to the controversial tax measure.

Her victory also has a wider significance.

Although there is nothing new about calls for a major simplification of the UK’s creaking tax system, these protests are getting louder and more widespread.

The latest group to jump on the issue is the British Chambers of Commerce which this week called for the creation of a tax tsar – a Treasury minister who would champion tax simplification and introduce an annual audit of regulation affecting business.

Some may be dubious about the effectiveness of such an appointment, but few would disagree with the sentiment.

Some, however, feel we have gone too far already and that a more fundamental rethink of UK tax policy is needed.

Peter Wyman, vice-president of the English ICA, wrote in last week’s Accountancy Age that only big changes will have any meaningful impact.

Redston’s victory indicates Accountancy Age readers share these concerns, and that support for tax reform is widespread.

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