The CIOT has been busy commenting on the announcements in today’s Budget. Our Tax Policy Director, John Whiting, has been interviewed by BBC TV and radio, and was praised in the Chancellor’s speech for his work as Tax Director of the Office of Tax Simplification. Additionally the Institute has issued statements on a range of the Budget proposals.
Institute President Vincent Oratore welcomed proposals to simplify the tax system by integrating income tax and national insurance contributions, and abolishing 43 tax reliefs. He also welcomed the announcement of a strategic approach to tackling avoidance and a commitment from the Government that retrospective changes to tax legislation will be wholly exceptional.
Colin Ben-Nathan, Chairman of the CIOT’s Employment Taxes Sub-Committee, called on the Government to reconsider their approach to tackling attempts to avoid tax through ‘disguised remuneration’ and their decision to go ahead with changes to the tax relief available on employer-supported childcare.
Peter Fanning, the Institute’s Chief Executive, welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement of reforms to Gift Aid, recommended in his report for the Treasury last year.
John Whiting welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement that a Statutory Residence Test will be introduced from 2012, and that the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts will be extended to larger companies. However he criticised the doubling of the period that can be covered by the short life assets rules and called for a real assault on the complexity of the rules on remittance for non-doms.
Tina Riches, the Institute’s Director, Technical, welcomed the change in the rate of mileage allowance payments that can be paid tax free to employees who use their own cars for business, together with the extension of this to volunteers.
Mark Delaney, chair of the CIOT’s Environmental Taxes Working Group, called on the Government to put in place an Environmental Tax Framework for the rest of the Parliament.
Brendan Morris, chair of the CIOT’s Northern Ireland Branch, said that devolving the setting of the corporation tax rate in Northern Ireland could give a real boost to the Northern Irish economy but the potential for loss of revenue and additional admin burdens meant it would not be a one way bet.
The Institute’s Low Incomes Tax Reform Group also issued a number of press statements. Technical Director Robin Williamson welcomed the announcement that the Government are to modernise the language used to define an incapacitated person for direct tax purposes, something for which LITRG have campaigned for eight years. He also called on the Government not to go ahead with plans to impose online filing on all the main business taxes, and gave a qualified welcome to the announcement of an increase in business mileage allowances.
Tomorrow (Thursday) John Whiting will be answering questions in a Q&A on the FT website. Email your questions now and bookmark www.ft.com/budgetq&a to watch the live Q&AOn Monday John and Robin Williamson will be giving oral evidence on the Budget to the House of Commons Treasury Committee.
George Crozier, External Relations Manager, CIOT
Wednesday 23 March 2011