Treasury committee report highlights complexity of Budget measures

THE COMPLEXITY IN the Finance Bill has highlighted the problems small businesses face in accessing accounting and tax advice, PwC has said.

The Treasury select committee published its report on the Bill on 2 May, based on findings made by ICAEW, ACCA and CIoT. The report found that the Budget scored well on principles of supporting growth and competition as well as stability to an extent, but found it unfairly burdened families in the £40,000-£50,000 income bracket.

The Budget also failed to provide certainty or practicability, the report found.
Barry Murphy, tax partner at PwC said that the very fact that three institutes have had to work out the impact of the Budget suggests that the tax system is still overly complex.

“The Treasury committee’s report has reiterated a consistent theme of small businesses struggling to access the right accounting and tax advice so that they do not get caught out by complex new rules,” he said.

“Whether all taxpayers are able to access the right advice and pay the right amount of tax could perhaps serve as a good litmus test for HMRC’s stated ambition to work more openly with advisers and taxpayers.”

All three institutes criticised the complexity of the disguised remuneration anti-avoidance legislation, saying it failed to provide certainty to taxpayers.

The respondents also questioned the practicability of the measures. ACCA said that “few businesses will maintain records to the level of detail and accuracy required” to make the most of the changes to the short life asset scheme.

Picture: HM Treasury


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