Tax to be simplified?
UK tax law is to be simplified to cut the sheer headfuckery that is endured by businesses George Osborne has said. I'm sure you're aware that this wasn't a direct quote.
The chancellor is setting up an Office for Tax Simplification to streamline the 11,000 page tax code according to the BBC.
Georgie Boy reckons that Britain has "one of the most complex and opaque tax codes in the world" and that he wants a "permanent body to push against the forces of complication."
Announcing this new body, Osborne said his "dream" was "that people might actually understand the tax laws which with they actually being asked to comply with". What a boring shit. My dreams usually involve go-go dancers, exploding spaceships and robots that can play Link Wray songs.
The new body has been given the initial task of streamlining 400 tax reliefs, allowances and exemptions and simplifying the tax system for small businesses, including a simpler alternative to the IR35 code. In the case of the latter, this simplification is designed to help sole traders and freelancers.
All this looking at tax and making it more palatable won't change tax credits. Osborne sees that as part of the benefits system, so for the time being at least, they'll be left alone.
If you're wondering who is going to head this up, then it is a chap who is a former Tory MP and Treasury minister called Michael Jack along with John Whiting, formerly of PricewaterhouseCoopers who is tax director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation. He'll be the director. Neither will be paid, but they may well become Lords no doubt (legal note: This is me trying to be satirical as opposed to implying that the government - with their really ace lawyers - are crooked in any way).
In a speech, Treasury minister David Gauke said: "The tax system created by the previous government was overly complex and has made the tax affairs of millions of families and businesses across the UK extremely complicated. We need to reduce the complexities in our tax system and the coalition is committed to delivering that goal. 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."