Government body set up to overhaul complicated tax system in bid to encourage economic expansion

Financial News

The British tax system will be simplified to attract international investment and stimulate economic growth under new government plans.

An Office for Tax Simplification will be set up today to analyse possible reforms to the 11,000 pages of UK tax code that currently exist – the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne hopes this will make the system easier to understand and implement.

The office, led by former Treasury Minister Michael Jack and John Whiting of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, will look at altering tax exemptions, allowances and reliefs to increase overseas investment.

Osbourne said: “Simplification in a complex world is a real challenge but it’s one that has to be addressed if the tax system is not to hinder the economy’s ability to grow”.

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said: “The Office for Tax Simplification will provide important advice that will help inform us in making the right reforms to the tax system that will help to pave the way to bringing more international business to the UK, which will give our economy the boost it so urgently needs in the years ahead”.

As it stands, the complicated structure of the tax system is confusing to both business and personal taxation. Small changes that were put in place across the previous years have been criticised. The Institute of Directors said: “The British tax code is among the most complex in the world, and it has been getting worse every year. It is time to put tax simplification ahead of the endless tweaks that have been designed to appease special interests and Revenue zealots”.

The reforms should assist with the tax considerations of small and medium sized companies suffering through the recessionary climate.