Complexity in the tax system is in itself a distortion of the economy, diverting productive energies into non-productive administration.

It is also essential that the volume of legislation is kept to a minimum. Anti-avoidance measures, in particular, can result in complex and detailed legislation that is often of very limited application, but by its nature is potentially widely drafted.

Small businesses, especially, can suffer when the volume of tax law becomes unmanageable. Changes in tax law – particularly those changes that reverse previous tax breaks or incentives and that have been a basis of business planning – should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Tax authorities should make the most of opportunities afforded by digital tools to simplify the process of engagement with the tax system.