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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Notes to Editors
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