Regulation  

Tax legislation changed 635 times since 2011

Tax legislation changed 635 times since 2011

Calls for tax simplification have been made, after it was revealed 635 changes have been made to tax legislation since 2011.

Audit, tax, and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill’s review of the Office for Budget Responsibility database shows the most common area for changes is income tax, with 165 changes, followed by corporation tax, with 122 changes.

There had also been 24 changes to VAT, and 81 changes to national insurance contributions.

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Laurence Field, head of tax and corporate business partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill, called for urgent simplification of the tax legislation.

Mr Field said: “These constant changes to the tax legislation are particularly bad news for businesses, many of whom exhaust huge amounts of energy keeping track of the taxes that affect them.

“By way of example, there are thousands of pages of law devoted to the taxation of companies but corporation tax accounts for less than 10 per cent of the tax take. This is a disproportionate amount of time and energy for a relatively small amount of income.

“Changes to the headline rates of tax might catch the headlines in a post-referendum world, but we need a radical simplification of the UK tax system if businesses are to have the certainty they want.”

Mr Field added that the Treasury select committee published a report which stated tax policy should be fair, support growth, encourage competition, provide certainty, provide stability, be coherent and be easy to calculate.

He said: “Any changes should be tested against these measures. The Office for Tax Simplification should be encouraging the Treasury to create a modern tax system that can help businesses to innovate and grow and individuals pay their tax quickly, easily and on time.”