The complexities of the tax system look
set to grow, local business leaders have been warned.
Stephanie Smye, chairman of the Eastern
Branch of the Institute of Directors, has told the institute's almost
1,000 members in Cambridgeshire:
“The increasingly arcane tax system is
being allowed to grow unchecked. Every Chancellor wants to introduce
his ‘tweaks’ for fiscal or political reasons; pressure groups
lobby continuously for special treatment; tax advisors spot and
exploit loopholes and the Inland Revenue changes the rules to thwart
“No government has shown any appetite
for tax simplification. In fact, the problem has worsened recently,
because the Inland Revenue system is now used to monitor the minimum
wage, reclaim student loans and pay Working Families Tax Credits.
“I believe this extended use of the
system will grow, embracing welfare benefits more widely. The
underlying philosophy behind something like the Working Families Tax
Credit may be laudable; the administrative hassle is another matter.
All the work of assessing and paying these benefits is being forced
onto companies and small businesses are being strangled by the red