Accounting Web have published an interview with Mike Warburton, Tax Director at Grant Thornton.
It is worth reading, ao he notes that:
- Government estimates of there being a further £7BN that can be collected from tax evaders as "a wild overestimate of the actual situation".
- "The root problem is that successive governments have created a tax system that is too complicated. The volume of tax legislation doubled under the previous government and that's a big legacy to live with. HMRC and accountants are having to cope with this".
- "Evasion and avoidance are two entirely different things: One is legal and one is not. The last government said there was 'acceptable avoidance' and 'unacceptable avoidance' and then used this idea of 'unacceptable avoidance' to treat avoidance and evasion as if they were one and the same, but they're not".
As to whether the government will listen to tax professionals and the staff of HMRC, or is indeed able to tackle the problems left behind by the last administration (eg re complexity of legalisation), only time will tell.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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