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UK Tax System is “Inefficient, overly complex and frequently unfair”?

Some of us may have suspected that for a while, but a report for the Institute of Fiscal Studies by Nobel Prize winning economist Sir James Mirrlees agrees.

The report, issued on 13 September, is scathing in its criticisms of the UK tax system, although it acknowledged that any changes would be politically difficult and would inevitably lead to losers as well as winners. It also accepts that there have been positive changes over the last 30 years.

Interestingly the report also accepts that there are “relatively few loopholes and opportunities for avoidance” within the system!

The report makes many recommendations – some of which have already been mooted – and which come as no surprise to us at robinson+co but one headline winning suggestion is that petrol and diesel duties should be abolished – and replaced with a congestion charge.

The report also looks at extending the scope of VAT; aligning the tax rules for the employed, self-employed, and incorporated entities; strengthening work incentives for parents and the over 55; and integrating tax and national insurance contributions.

“The basic tenet of the report is of no surprise” says robinson+co’s Tax Partner, Victoria Bishop, “but some of the changes are so far reaching that it would take more than one parliament to introduce them and I wonder if the UK political system has the flexibility to accommodate this.”

We at robinson+co continually work to ensure that our clients take advantage of all appropriate tax breaks and tax planning opportunities, no matter how inefficient, complex and unfair the system is, so please do not hesitate to contact Victoria, or the partner who normally deal with, on 01900 603623 or victoriabishop@robinsonco.co.uk.

• Any comments are those of Victoria Bishop and do not necessarily reflect the views of robinson+co

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