ICAS, the world’s first professional body of Chartered Accountants, has called on the next government to “get serious” on simplifying the UK’s 20,000-plus pages of Tax Code.

ICAS believes this would be one key step which could be taken to help reduce tax avoidance.

The call for action comes in the ICAS manifesto for the Westminster General Election. ICAS believes that last week’s 2015 Budget underlined how unwieldy our tax system has become, adding reliefs for orchestras and complex changes to personal tax for savers through the new Personal Savings Allowance.

There are now more than 1,000 tax reliefs and exemptions, forming a part of a Tax Code that is more than 20,000 pages long.

The professional body, which represents more than 20,000 Chartered Accountants operating across the UK and worldwide, believes that if the next government is to be serious about reducing tax avoidance they must play their part by radically simplifying the Tax Code.

Says ICAS chief executive Anton Colella, “The time has now come for the next government to draw a line in the sand and get serious about simplifying Britain’s tax laws. Every political party is talking about tax avoidance, but one important element that lies in their hands is simplifying Britain’s Tax Code. “This will bring much needed clarity to the grey areas of avoidance.

 “The next government must stop tinkering by adding yet more reliefs and start tackling the complexity of it all.”

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