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The Conservatives’ proposed tax simplification changes

A report by a working group for the conservatives is recommending that the next conservative government should make radical changes to the way new tax legislation is drawn up and scrutinised - with a view to simplifying the UK’s tax code.

It proposes setting up an Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to examine the existing law and practise and make proposals for simplification. As well as being staffed by HMRC and academics, it should also include individuals from the tax professions to provide both expertise and a fresh perspective.
The group also proposed setting up a new Select Committee on Taxation with membership drawn from both Houses. This committee should improve the scrutiny of government initiatives and proposals, and review proposals presented to it by the OTS.

Finally, the conservatives would look to re-establish the Pre-Budget Report as the time to propose technical changes in advance of the full Budget and Finance Bill. The thought is that this would have avoided many of the recent problems of badly thought through proposals, produced with little consultation and last minute legislation rushed through Parliament without sufficient scrutiny.



Date: 31st July, 2008
Author: Cathy Corns


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