Select committee calls for better tax oversight

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The coalition government has not done enough to set out the principles underlying its new approach to tax policy making and would benefit from more direct input from tax experts, according to a House of Commons report.

The Commons Treasury select committee this week reported on the evidence gathered at recent hearings into tax policy.

Noting “a surprising degree of convergence” from the evidence presented, committee chairman Andrew Tyrie advanced a set of principles (see below) that point “a direction of travel” towards a tax system that would secure consent and improve the performance of the economy.

Tax policy principles

According to the MPs, tax policy should:

  • be fair to ensure that it commanded consent
  • support growth and encourage competition
  • provide certainty. “It should not normally be necessary for anyone to resort to the courts in order to resolve how the rules operate in relation to his or her tax affairs.”
  • provide stability. Changes to the underlying rules should be kept to a minimum and policy shocks avoided.
  • be straightforward and practical: a person should be able calculate their liability, and it should be easy to collect.
  • be coherent.


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About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk is the global editor of AccountingWEB UK and


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15th Mar 2011 18:09

The Mirrlees Review

So, what will happen to the Mirrlees review:  Tax by Design?

Will it go to the waste of time and effort bin?

Is the review too much for MPs to digest and understand?

Oh yes, I forgot, the geniuses that inhabit HMRC and the Treasury have always done sterling work and will continue to grace us with their superior analysis and proposals.

Very depressing.


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16th Mar 2011 08:21

Try looking at the report

You need only get as far as the first page (following the links above) to see it does refer to using Mirrlees.

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16th Mar 2011 15:02


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18th Mar 2011 14:27


Not all from the big firms, please 

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