No foreseeable end to Tax Rewrite Project

The team said it could not estimate an end to the project even though it began in 1996 with officials saying it would only take five years.

Information released by the team today at a press conference, said there was ‘no current estimate, because it is impossible to predict how long the work will take until all the details have been thoroughly researched and analysed’.

The Capital Allowances Bill is the first fully completed piece of rewriting the 40-strong team has produced though officials say they intend to publish two new Income Tax Bills, one in 2002 and the other in 2003.

The team is also to include in its work the PAYE legislation.

Neil Munro, director of the Rewrite Project, said great consideration had been given to finding solutions to speeding up the project, such as cutting the extent of consultation, but the options were thought either inappropriate or impossible.

He said: ‘The five years that we predicted was based on guess work. As soon as we got into the first block of legislation we realised it was going to be a lot longer.’

The intention of the project is to make tax law clearer and not to simplify the legislation, a job they insist belongs to policy makers.

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