ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
We have long been calling for greater regulation of tax advice. While ACCA and other accountancy bodies have strict regulation and standards, anyone can set up and offer tax advice without those safeguards in place
—Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation, ACCA

The UK is moving away from corporation tax and securing revenue from companies through alternative means, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has told Parliament

In evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs, ACCA pointed out that HM Revenue and Customs was working with businesses in a 'quick and effective manner' to ensure taxes were collected. 

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA head of taxation, said: 'We need to look at the bigger picture when it comes to how corporations are taxed in the UK. There are alternative ways by which companies in the UK are taxed, for example through VAT.'

Speaking after giving evidence to the House of Lords, Chas Roy-Chowdhury said that the fundamental problem is that large companies are by nature multinational – their shareholders, activities and customers are spread across the world – whilst national governments are not.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury added: 'There is a tax chasm between what governments seek to capture by way of corporation tax and what companies, many of which are global in terms of their shareholders, activities and customers, generate in terms of global profits. In practice, existing rules are highly complex and differences between countries can be exploited well within the law. HMRC has adapted to this and is not sitting on its laurels as some other Parliamentary committees have suggested. They are quick and effective and have developed a greater understanding of how companies work. The majority of corporations go through the tax process with ease. HMRC has achieved this despite declining resources.'

Name and shame

House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs raised the issue of naming and shaming those who have promoted failed tax avoidance scheme. Chas Roy-Chowdhury said: 'If naming and shaming is going to be introduced, the bar needs to be set very high. The complexity of the tax system means there is a risk that mis-interpretation could result in naming and shaming of an adviser, which is a severe punishment. 

'We have long been calling for greater regulation of tax advice. While ACCA and other accountancy bodies have strict regulation and standards, anyone can set up and offer tax advice without those safeguards in place.'

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For more information, please contact:

Steve Rudaini, ACCA Newsroom
+ 44 (0) 207 059 5622
+44 (0) 7801 133985
steve.rudaini@accaglobal.com  

Helen Thompson, ACCA Newsroom
+44 (0)20 7059 5759
+44 (0)7725 498654
helen.thompson@accaglobal.com 

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 154,000 members and 432,000 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 8,400 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.