Accountants lash out at new tax avoidance restrictions
The Government was accused yesterday of adding to a mountain of red tape when it published a 600-page finance Bill to enact measures from last year's Budget.
Dawn Primarolo, the paymaster general, said the Bill, which include new tax avoidance rules, "introduces important measures to modernise taxes, keeping pace with real world developments ... and to tackle tax avoidance and evasion".
Measure include an obligation on accountants to register tax avoidance schemes, the end of a corporation tax loophole and a simplification of eight pensions regimes into one.
But the Conservatives accused the Treasury of publishing a "monster bill". Howard Flight, the shadow chief secretary, said: "Complexity and double meanings will result in businesses and individuals finding scant reward for many additional burdens."
Accountants echoed this, with one firm describing the Bill as a "lengthy labyrinth of legislation". Grant Thornton said Labour had added 1,500 pages of tax laws to the statute books since it regained power in 2001.
"In this light the Government's attempts to tackle tax avoidance can be seen as a problem of its own making," said Mike Warburton, its senior tax partner.
Aidan O'Carroll, the national head of tax at Ernst & Young, said the industry had "no difficulty" with the concept of full disclosure. "Our concern is to ensure that UK businesses are not put at a competitive disadvantage through extra administrative burdens or by an overly wide interpretation of what constitutes a tax avoidance arrangement," he said. "Equally, the tax authorities will find it difficult to cope if they receive thousands of reports of routine, inoffensive tax planning."
Trevor Llanwarne, the chief actuary pensions at PwC, said that rather than reducing the pensions system from eight regimes to one, the finance Bill had created six new systems. "This extends to 160 pages on pensions with some regulations still to come, which shows what this simplification means," he said.
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 4 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
James Foley 'beheaded': PM cuts holiday short for emergency meeting on British response to latest Isis atrocity
Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
iJobs Money & Business
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...
£350 - £365 per day: Orgtel: Manager, SAS, Data Warehouse, Banking, Bristol - ...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Linux, SQL Se...