Retrospection undermining certainty in the tax system

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AccountingWEB.co.uk
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The increasing use of retrospective action in the tax system could undermine the fundamental principle of certainty, warned the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) this week.

The institute raised concerns following an announcement by the Treasury's financial secretary Stephen Timms this week week, amending the tax rules relating to manufactured dividends which will be applied to the period dating from 1 October 2007.

“The use of retrospective legislation always concerns us greatly; we think it damages the key principle of certainty in the tax system that is so important to its reputation and is inherently unfair", said John Whiting, tax policy director at CIOT.

“We can understand that at times the government wants to take action to ‘confirm the general understanding...

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Human Rights Act - Article 7 No punishment without law
 

"1 No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the criminal offence was committed. "

 

Although not "criminal" it could be argued that the same principals should apply.

It needs someone so badly affected that it becomes economically viable to challenge the legality in the european courts.

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Like there has ever been any "certainty"!

What a waste of everyone's time, more costs to the taxpayer, as yet another company has to take its case to the European Court.

Deterrent factor? Zero, you just take your activities outside the UK.

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European Court

There is already a case on its way to the European Court.

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