Tax transparency reforms ‘not yet costed’

THE GOVERNMENT has not formulated any costings for reforms of the personal taxation system announced today, Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke has said.

The government’s aim is to help the public understand how the tax system works and give taxpayers the chance to see how much tax they are paying.

One proposal is to move to the system used in Ireland, where individuals can access their own PAYE tax records through an online account, like current self-assessment taxpayers. It also suggests implementing the Danish model, where taxpayers receive annual return statements that the tax authority has pre-filled with information it already holds.

The government has also asked people to come forward with suggestions for how to improve education and support for taxpayers.

The minister told Accountancy Age that the Treasury had not yet begun formulating the extra administration costs of any possible reforms for HM Revenue & Customs. “There may be costs involved, but there may be savings from reducing customer contact,” he said. “This is the beginning of the debate and we have not looked at how much this will cost. We will see in what direction the debate goes.”

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