Time to man tax barricades

With the populace racing to the petrol pumps this week to fill up as Gallic-style protests threatened to bring the UK to a standstill, campaigners for tax simplification have jumped at the chance to point out the true extent of the tax on petrol.

After all, it’s not often that the man on the street takes much notice of the frequent calls by the tax and accountancy professional bodies for a major tax law revamp.

Hopefully, highlighting the fact that taxation accounts for some 80% of the price of a litre – and that VAT is added on the duty already charged, thereby taxing tax – will have some impact on Jo Public, and focus attention on other areas where change is needed.

One move that could help millions of UK employers is a simplification of income tax and national insurance.

This week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Big Question showed that 64% of finance directors support the idea of merging the two to form a single levy – an idea that the tax authorities have been considering.

With the party conference season kicking off, and tax issues making the headlines, the time could be right for someone both to score some political points and make a move in the right direction by throwing their support behind the idea.

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