Tax simplification or complication?
I have every sympathy with the government’s desire to simplify the current tax regime. I am also in favour of consultation on changes to legislation rather than hasty decisions with ill thought out legislation. I also think it is commendable that the government produces a tracker for consultations.
My concern is that the list of consultations out at the moment, some 46, runs to five pages. Admittedly some of these have now closed, but on most of them no decision has yet been reached. It is hard enough for people who work in tax full-time to keep up-to-date with the constant changes; sometimes it is difficult to know what is draft, what is decided and what is out for consultation, before decisions are made. I fail to see how any member of the general public can be expected to keep up-to-date with what is happening but, under self-assessment, that is precisely what people will have to do. The Revenue’s new penalty regime is strict and mistakes can be very expensive.
Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Date: 10th September, 2012
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