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July 20, 2010    

Chancellor Osborne unveils simpler tax system

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by Kay Murchie

As expected, Chancellor George Osborne has today revealed plans to simplify the UK tax system, in a bid to encourage investment and stimulate economic growth.

The Chancellor said the “spaghetti bowl” of UK tax law will be simplified and said: “The previous government took a complex tax system and made it even worse. A decade of meddling and intervening has made the tax affairs of millions of families and businesses across the UK extremely complicated.”

Mr Osborne said that by simplifying the tax system and making it more competitive for small firms, it would drive economic growth, after previously stating that Britain had “one of the most complex and opaque tax codes in the world”.

Mr Osborne also confirmed the launch of an Office for Tax Simplification, which will look at all tax reliefs, allowances and exemptions and carry out an assessment of business taxation, including finding a simpler alternative to the controversial IR35 code.

In a speech, Treasury minister David Gauke said: “The tax system created by the previous government was overly complex and has made the tax affairs of millions of families and businesses across the UK extremely complicated.

“We need to reduce the complexities in our tax system and the coalition is committed to delivering that goal.”

Many business lobby groups welcomed the measures and David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said it was “a necessary and long overdue response to the relentless chop and change of tax law”.

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