The CIOT wants the perpetuation of abuse

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The Chartered Institute of Tax issued a press release this morning saying:

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is calling for a moratorium on further major changes to the tax system from the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, when he stands up to deliver his Budget on Wednesday 22 April.

The CIOT believes, that in these turbulent economic times, it is better to consolidate and complete what is in hand and not introduce new measures.

The Institute is concerned that new proposals, however well-intentioned, will inevitably add to administrative burdens on the taxpayer when business taxpayers in particular need to concentrate on business matters.

Nick Goulding, CIOT President, says: “At a time when business and individuals are facing very challenging financial circumstances, they need stability. Part of achieving that is to ensure there is certainty and that the Government works towards a simpler and fairer tax system. If the Government wants to help people by using the tax system, reform needs to be thought through very carefully. A less complex, and therefore simpler, system would be one way to make things easier for the taxpayer.”

The CIOT’s firm view is that when the Government looks at the tax system they should take into account three underlying principles: simplicity, fairness and certainty.

I’ve got two comments.

The first is that this is a straightforward plea that the injustice in the current tax system be allowed to continue. As a result, for example, the CIOT wants Barclays to be allowed to continue its tax abuse. And as a consequence they want the burden of tax to remain on the middle classes and poorest in our society when reform needs to shift it to those best able to pay.

Second, I sit on a Treasury committee with the CIOT. It’s amazing how complicated the CIOT want tax reform to be when in the interest of the richest clients they represent and how much they dislike the simple alternatives I propose.

I can say no more right now — but candidly the CIOT needs to walk the talk — and from my experience it is not.