As published on accountancytoday.co.uk, Friday 26 August, 2022.
The president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Susan Ball, has written to both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss setting out the institute’s views on what should be the new prime minister’s priorities for the tax system.
In the letter, Ball sets out that given the “pressing public interest” in a better working tax system, the Chartered Institute of Taxation has identified three linked priorities which it believes are “widely supported” and that the new prime minister “must act upon”.
The letter goes on to say that the new prime minister should prioritise investment in HMRC to improve performance and explains that a “properly funded and efficient HMRC is vital to the future of the UK, ensuring that tax revenues are collected efficiently while ensuring that the UK tax authority supports business in the drive to improve growth, productivity and trade, both within all regions of the UK and internationally”.
She explains that to achieve this, the prime minister “should maintain HMRC’s existing resources and capabilities”, and to improve standards of basic performance including answering telephone queries, dealing with correspondence, investigation and compliance activity and timely processing of new tax registrations and agent authorisations.
The letter also highlights Making Tax Digital, a programme that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the tax system, improves HMRC’s performance and enables it to provide better support for taxpayers.
The letter also calls for the elected prime minister to undertake an “early review of the current MTD programme and its implementation timetable” and to “identify areas of risk with the current strategy and…to ensure that MTD can be launched successfully and be built on as experience develops”.
The final subject Ball calls on is to simplify the tax system, stating that the UK tax system has become “far too complicated”. She goes on to explain that the Government should “undertake a more ambitious tax simplification programme and resist the temptation to make major structural changes to the tax system until this is done”.
Ball states: “We would welcome the opportunity to work with the new Government, HMRC and other professional bodies to effect improvements in the UK tax system, focusing initially on the three priority areas we have identified above.”