ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
We all need a tax system we can trust and which is certain, transparent, and accountable – as well as simple and efficient
—Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation, ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) comments

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA, says the report by Graham Aaronson QC, which explains his recommendations to the Government for the introduction to the UK tax system of a narrowly focused general anti-abuse rule (GAAR), is timely, but that recommendations in the report could cause more complexity in an already labyrinthine tax system.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury comments: 'Two sets of legislation will still be in place causing even more complexity and uncertainty – until the Office of Tax Simplification can sort out the tangled web of tax policy and rules we have in the UK.

'The proposals give potentially even more discretionary powers to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). However, we welcome the fact the Government will be consulting fully on this important issue before taking any decisions on whether a GAAR should be introduced.

'What has always been important for ACCA is the need for the UK tax system to be simple, clear, consistent and manageable – for those who pay tax and for the under-pressure tax authority – HMRC. Complexity has a knock-on effect for all involved.'

Mr Roy-Chowdhury concludes: 'Abusive tax avoidance must be tackled – and Mr Aaronson’s recommendations and comments made by David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, make this explicit. We all need a tax system we can trust and which is certain, transparent, and accountable – as well as simple and efficient.'

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For more information, contact:

Helen Thompson, ACCA Newsroom
+44 (0)20 7059 5759
+44 (0)7725 498654

Notes to Editors

  1. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 
  2. We support our 147,000 members and 424,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. 
  3. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.