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Richard Wild, head of tax technical team at The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), talks about the digitalisation of the UK tax system.

There were few surprises on the tax front in the Conservative manifesto published today. Existing fiscal rules were restated, existing plans for income tax and corporation tax cuts were confirmed and  two thirds of the 2015 ‘tax triple lock’ was dropped (the VAT element stays), giving a future Conservative government more flexibility to adjust taxes if circumstances require.

 

A Liberal Democrat government would raise an extra £15 billion a year in taxes, over and above Conservative plans. This would include an increase of one per cent in all income tax rates, raising corporation tax to 20 per cent and reversing a number of cuts made by the Conservatives since 2015. The party also proposes a far-reaching review of corporation tax.

A near full auditorium was treated to an unusual CTA address. The calling of a snap general election meant that ‘purdah’ rules prevented former Tax Director of OTS John Whiting CBE – who remains a non-exec director of HMRC - from giving his planned speech on tax simplification. Instead, this year’s event was a panel discussion on topical tax matters. The panel was made up of Stella Amiss, of PWC, Paul Aplin, of ICAEW, Vanessa Houlder, of the Financial Times, Jill Rutter, Institute of Government and the CIOT’s Tax Policy Director John Cullinane. An audio of the event is below,

A corporation tax rate of 26 per cent (21 per cent for small profits) and higher rates of income tax for those earning more than £80,000 a year are the most eye-catching tax proposals in Labour’s election manifesto, published on Tuesday. High earners will also be targeted with an extra levy on ‘excessive pay’ and a proposal to publish the returns of those earning more than £1 million a year. Businesses below the VAT threshold would be given a permanent exemption from quarterly reporting. Overall, Labour estimate their proposals would increase the tax take by just under £49 billion a year by 2021.

To support the tax and spending pledges made within its main manifesto, the Labour Party also published a separate (but linked) document to its manifesto titled Labour’s tax transparency and enforcement programme. The party claims that the programme ‘will be the most comprehensive effort ever made by any UK government to end the social scourge of tax avoidance’ while ensuring that high net worth individuals and corporations ‘pay their fair share’ of tax.

Plaid Cymru launched its manifesto today (16 May), with the party aiming to improve on its 2015 general election performance that saw it win 3 of Wales’ 40 Westminster constituencies.

A draft of the Labour manifesto draft was leaked to the media this week. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has since said that a final version has been agreed. The information below is about the draft version, so it may be slightly different to the final version expected next week. The CIOT will be reporting in detail on the main political parties' eagerly-awaited manifestos and their potential impact on taxation, when they are launched.

We take a look at tax thinkers' respective takes on General Election 2017.

John Preston, Incoming CIOT President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), sets out some of the differences between the approaches of the UK and Australian revenue authorities in the ways they are implementing their respective Making Tax Digital (MTD) programmes.