In Focus: Tax  

What's the thinking behind tax day?

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Tax day: all the devilish details

"He has made it clear that he feels it’s his duty to start the work to start to recoup some of the money spent on support during the period and taxes are clearly on the agenda."

She believes all these consultations are a "clear compass to the future of tax policy" and could highlight what may well be put on the table for the Autumn Budget, which she feels will "undoubtedly be a somewhat sombre affair".

Other considerations

Covid aside, Griffin notes changes to tax have been put on the back burner for the past year as the focus has been rightly elsewhere.

But she cautions: "There remain inefficiencies, over-complication and outdated parts of the tax system that are long overdue attention.

"For instance, IHT was reviewed by the OTS [two years ago]. The OTS then offered numerous recommendations, none of which have come to fruition."

Despite predictions that March 23 might mark a series of big changes, Jones thinks it is, paradoxically, a gradualist approach that led to the creation of a separate day of announcements.

Jones also points out the consultative approach to any changes to the tax legislation, which are not necessarily best tucked into a Budget Day pile of documents.

He says: "In the current era, tax changes are not usually made until there has been a period of consultation, which usually follows any announcements.

"There is often consequences to changes that need to be thought through. By asking those who are affected, for their comments and concerns, is a good way for HMRC to fully understand the impact. It can also be an opportunity to gauge reaction.

​​​​"Announcements and subsequent consequences usually follow a Budget, however in this instance they have separated them – this is nothing unusual as there are consultations on various topics and changes throughout a year anyway."

Rinse and repeat?

Will March 23 continue to be a date on which future tax changes are delineated? Commentators are not yet certain what the Treasury's long-term plans are, but say it is important to keep an eye out.

Griffin comments: "It will be interesting to see if the chancellor continues with this format for the remainder of his stint or whether this will be a one-time only affair."

Nimesh Shah, chief executive at Blick Rothenberg, thinks this is not the last time we will see such policy announcements.

He says: "The so-called ‘tax day’ will see the Treasury unveil a number of consultations. [But] the reality is that it will always be challenging to get [major initiatives] off the ground when short-term politics dictates tax policy.”

Shah would prefer to see things start from scratch, rather than try and implement a 10-year tax strategy that he feels will not work.