Foundations for a sound tax system: simplicity, certainty and stability

Simplicity, certainty and stability: in ACCA’s view these are the three cornerstones of a good tax system. Policy makers should consider them any time they plan to change the tax system. They are also the benchmarks by which taxpayers can assess the effectiveness of government in maintaining and improving tax systems.


Tax systems are fundamental to society. They are the conduit through which the state gathers the resources it needs to support public spending, and are often the direct mechanism of implementing policy. Every citizen is affected by the operation of tax systems, and the efficiency and effectiveness of the system and its administration will have effects far beyond the direct impact of tax collection. 

ACCA has identified three fundamental considerations which every system should strive for, and by which citizens can measure the success of governments and tax administrations in developing laws and processes, and the resources to administer them, for the greatest benefit of society. Regardless of the policies adopted by government, the role of the tax system in funding or implementing them should be designed to best reflect the optimal balance between simplicity, certainty and stability.