Modernising the tax system – Government publishes a series of consultations

In a move to strengthen policymaking and help modernise the UK tax system, the government has published a series of tax documents and consultations.

On Tuesday 23 March 2021, more than 30 policy documents that would traditionally be published at Budget were released as part of the government’s Tax policies and consultations update (Spring 2021) – allowing more space for scrutiny from stakeholders.

Many of the announcements form a key part of the government’s wider ten-year plan to build a trusted, modern tax system, setting out a strategy to improve the resilience and effectiveness of the country’s tax administration system over the next decade. Consultations and calls for evidence published yesterday help to deliver this by:

  • clamping down on promoters of tax avoidance schemes
  • considering whether tax advisers should be required to hold professional indemnity insurance to help raise standards
  • beginning to explore whether the current timing and frequency of tax payments are appropriate

The government is also seeking views through a call for evidence on how the legislation underpinning HMRC’s administration of the tax system could be updated to make the tax system easier to deal with and help make tax more straightforward for taxpayers, as well as help build greater resilience and capacity to respond to future crises.

Anita Monteith, Tax Faculty Technical Manager at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, says: “Tax consultations were often lost in the crowd of announcements on Budget Day, so the move to publish them separately will give the proposals more focus and emphasise the government’s commitment to sincere and open discussions on the future of tax.

“We hope these consultations stimulate debate and responses are used to guide changes to the tax system.”

Consultations, discussion documents and calls for evidence, and their closing dates, are as follows:

Closing on 1 June

  • Clamping down on promoters of tax avoidance: Consultation
  • Transfer pricing documentation: Consultation
  • Notification of uncertain tax treatment by large businesses: Consultation

Closing on 3 June

  • Reform of taxation of securitisation companies: Consultation

Closing on 15 June

  • Raising standards in the tax advice market: professional indemnity insurance and defining tax advice: Consultation
  • Helping taxpayers get offshore tax right: Discussion document
  • Preventing and collecting international tax debt: Discussion document
  • Aviation reform: Consultation
  • Aggregates Levy: Proposals on the treatment of aggregate removed during construction works: Consultation

Closing on 5 July

  • Hidden economy conditionality – Northern Ireland and Scotland: Consultation

Closing on 13 July

  • The tax administration framework: Supporting a 21st century tax system: Call for evidence
  • Timely payment: Call for evidence

These documents, amongst others, can be found at

At Beavis Morgan, we offer a broad range of fully integrated tax services, tailored solutions and a breadth and dept of knowledge to provide you with a tax effective route to achieve your business ambitions.

Tax laws and regulations are changing all the time. Our tax experts work through the complexities of taxation and keep you up to date on the latest tax matters and trends impacting your business.

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