ATT hopes for end to patchwork quilt approach to taxpayer - HMRC relations

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) welcomes the Government’s call for evidence published today1 on how HMRC and taxpayers interact.

The call for evidence is very wide ranging. It will look at ways to improve and simplify the necessary interactions taxpayers must have with the tax system, including the initial registration process, the calculation and assessment of tax liabilities, the interaction with agents and the powers and sanctions available to HMRC when taxpayers do not comply with their obligations.  

Jeremy Coker, President of the ATT, said:

“The existing Taxes Management Act 1970 which sets the basic framework for interactions with HMRC is now over 50 years old and resembles a patchwork quilt thanks to the number of amendments it has accumulated over the years. As the Government progresses with its plans for Making Tax Digital we welcome the opportunity that this call for evidence gives us to comment on the fundamentals of how HMRC and taxpayers interact.

“It is crucial that the basic framework which defines how the tax system works and the rights and obligations of taxpayers is evolved at the same time as the Government is making major changes to the tax system such as Making Tax Digital for Income Tax.2  Otherwise we will be trying to operate a 21st century tax system within a 20th century framework.

“This is a hugely complex piece of work, covering a large area and we are pleased that responses to this call for evidence will inform any future policy proposals on which there will be further consultation."

Notes for editors

  1. The call for evidence The tax administration framework: Supporting a 21st century tax system was published on 23 March 2021 (‘Tax Day’) and the closing date to respond is 13 July 2021.
  2. Under the requirements of Making Tax Digital for Income tax which will take effect from 6 April 2023, individuals who are subject to income tax on the profits of their trade, profession, vocation or property business will be required to keep their accounting records electronically (either using suitable software or on spreadsheet) and file quarterly returns to HMRC with details of their income and expenditure together with any other information that HMRC specifies. A final end of period statement will then be submitted after the tax year to complete the individual’s tax affairs.
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