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Tax Day: A focus on reducing the tax gap, but expect a Bumper Autumn Budget

Melissa Geiger, Head of Tax Policy, comments on Bumper Autumn Budget on Tax Day.

Melissa Geiger, Head of Tax Policy, comments on Bumper Autumn Budget on Tax Day.

Melissa Geiger, KPMG UK’s Head of Tax Policy, comments on the tax consultations released by the Treasury today: “Amid the raft of consultations and reviews published today, one thing is clear. The Government wants to modernise the tax system, boosting compliance and streamlining tax payments.  The end goal is to reduce the UK’s current tax gap of 4.7%, which represents £31 billion.   

“But, the elephant in the virtual room remains; how will the £280billion COVID-sized black hole be paid for?

“For some time, we have expected the core focus of the documents issued today to be on tax administration and building a tax system fit for the 21st century and, in particular, fit for the digital age. This largely seems to be the case. Many of the documents published represent a summary of previous reviews and consultations with little meat on the bones in terms of future policy direction. 

“The Government continues to be committed to the increasing digitalisation of the tax system through initiatives such as Making Tax Digital; providing one ‘tax account’ for a taxpayer making it easier to submit tax information and pay taxes.  

“But, the Treasury has not addressed what many tax experts were expecting, including substantial announcements around an online sales tax, the taxation of wealth, pensions, environmental taxes, or how workers are taxed.

“There is only one conclusion, that we are likely to see many difficult decisions pushed back to Autumn, and we could expect a bumper Budget for the taxation of businesses and individuals.”

Ends

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