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Treasury committee report on tax reliefs

133583
Complex, uncosted and exploited

Key points

  • Tax reliefs are adding to the complexity of the tax system.
  • HMRC should publish cost data for all tax reliefs from 2025-26 onwards.
  • All reliefs should be examined for their potential to be abused.
  • A five-yearly review of tax reliefs should be instituted so that reliefs no longer working as intended can be removed.

The ‘huge and seemingly ever-expanding suite of tax reliefs’ is a major contributor to the complexity of the UK tax system. So concluded the parliamentary Treasury Committee in its recent review of tax reliefs (tinyurl.com/tax-reliefs-report).

Of course this is not exactly startling. The now defunct Office of Tax Simplification’s first report considered tax reliefs (March 2011) – and which the Treasury Committee mentioned found there were 1 042 reliefs allowances and exemptions – ‘far more’ than any of its initial estimates – and looked in detail at 155....

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