Blog

Moves for greater transparency and openness in taxation to restore the public’s trust in the system are not an end in themselves. What really matters is the kind of information we collect and its practical value, and whether or not it is acted upon when it does become available. 

Ahead of tomorrow’s Anti-Corruption Summit in London the CIOT has joined other professional bodies in tax, law and accountancy in signing a declaration setting out our determination to continue to fight corruption, money-laundering, tax evasion and other related crimes with all the tools at our disposal.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), Institute for Government (IfG) and Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) are launching a project to look at how we can improve the process around budgets and tax policy-making.

As one of the main authors of the Model Taxpayer Charter (MTC), I can say with confidence that it is intended to foster a relationship of mutual trust, respect and responsibility between taxpayers, tax advisers, tax administrations and the State. It is much needed, not only because of the scandals and shocks to the tax world this year, but because it is so important that taxpayers recognise that their compliance with an acceptable and fair tax administration is fundamental to a stable economic system.  

The European Commission must ensure that its proposed changes to VAT set out in its action plan do not harm the cash flows of businesses of all sizes and avoid increasing companies’ already significant compliance burdens.

Buoyed by HMRC’s recent victory in the Court of Session against Glasgow Rangers’, the Chancellor of the Exchequer struck a further blow against Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) in his March Budget.  Amongst a number of anti-avoidance measures, he announced that legacy loans to employees and former employees made by EBTs before the Finance Act 2011 rules on ‘disguised remuneration’ came into play will now be judged offside and subject to a new PAYE (and NIC) charge if still outstanding on 5 April 2019. 

 

When the seeds of the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (DOTAS) régime were first sown the Government may have thought they included the acorn from which a mighty oak would grow. But since then the result, variegated by the general anti-abuse rule (GAAR) and follower notices and accelerated payment notices (APNs), has come to resemble an impenetrable thicket whose thorns now include heavy penalties for non-observance. The Government has even felt the need to include harsher penalties for non-compliance with the GAAR in the draft Finance Bill 2016 clauses despite no compliance failures having been recorded yet.

The Treasury Committee’s annual report on the Autumn Statement (this time also incorporating the Spending Review) included, as has become usual, assessments by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), ICAEW and ACCA of the tax measures in Autumn Statement measured against the principles that tax policy should be fair; support growth and encourage competition; provide certainty; provide stability; be practicable; and provide for a coherent tax system

It was against the backdrop of accountants being derided in the media about their role in what some see as the unfairly lenient taxation of large companies that a panel of experts in social value took the brave decision this month to ask ‘Can accountants change the world?’  An audience at the Social Value Summit in London heard from two panellist who have tried to change accounting practices to be, in their eyes, more ethical, and another speaker gave the audience her view on the premise of the debate – even touching on quarterly reporting.

With public debate about corporation tax seemingly at an unprecendented scale, CIOT Tax Policy Director John Cullinane writes for the City AM newspaper to argue against radical changes to the corporation tax system because of the furore about HMRC's deal with Google.