ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

Openness, transparency and efficiency highlighted by ACCA as 'musts' in the current tax system

Following today's publication by the Public Accounts Committee about tax disputes with large corporations and HMRC, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is calling for a renewed understanding of what makes an efficient and just tax system.

ACCA has recently re-published its 12 Tenets of Tax, a policy paper originally published in 2009, and re-issued in 2011 as tax remains one of the key strategic issues of the current age.

ACCA's Twelve Tenets are.

  • A presumption to tax neutrality
  • Openness and transparency
  • Simplification
  • Certainty
  • Accountability and regular review
  • Tax policy is a percentage of GDP
  • Efficiency
  • Tax shifting and hypothecation have a role to play
  • Tax is a matter of national sovereignty
  • Tax is subject to the rule of law
  • Respect for Human rights
  • Avoidance of double taxation

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA, says: "There is a clear need for HMRC to instil trust in the tax system. Individual tax payers will no doubt be balking at the deals done by business, and may even see this as unfair. We have to remember that HMRC is under resourced, under pressure and have been something of a political football. We hope that 2012 will bring some much needed stability for them."

Commenting on the 12 Tenets of Tax, Chas Roy-Chowdhury concludes: "These 12 rules take account of the wider tax landscape and the new pressures facing governments - certainly there will be a pressure on the government to ensure HMRC is doing the right thing and collecting the right tax at the right time - whether it's from a big business or from an individual tax payer or a small business."

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