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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2016-11-24

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Chancellor takes up CIOT Institutes' proposal for fewer Budgets

THE Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has welcomed the Chancellor's announcement that the Government will be reverting to a single annual fiscal event. The CIOT, along with the Institute for Government (IfG) and Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), had called for this move in an open letter to the Chancellor in September. The letter contained some early recommendations from a project the three organisations are undertaking to look at how to improve Tax policy making. This will lead to a full report in January 2017. CIOT President Bill Dodwell commented:- "This is a welcome move from the Chancellor. Tax change is one of the greatest causes of Tax complexity, and having two major fiscal events a year encourages government to keep fiddling about with the system.  No other major economic power feels the need for 2 big sets of Tax and spending changes each year. The Chancellor has sensibly acknowledged that doing less will enable HMRC and the Treasury to put more time and effort into making sure the changes they do make are effective and well targeted."  The relevant part of the letter, signed jointly by Bill Dodwell for CIOT, IFS Director Paul Johnson and IfG Director Bronwen Maddox, read:- "Return to a Single Fiscal Event. The last 2 decades have seen a proliferation of measures in Budgets and very long finance bills become the norm. In effect, we now have a March Budget and a November / December Budget. The time has come to revert to one principal fiscal policy event a year (while recognising there may still be a need for technical changes at other times of the year). Reducing the frequency of new significant changes of direction would release resource for better consultation, produce higher quality legislation and more effective implementation, make life simpler for taxpayers, and potentially increase the impact of measures concluded upon. We also think that Budgets should return to being principally a vehicle to announce revenue measures, rather than spending or other policy changes."


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