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Autumn Statement: Business group urges Chancellor to cut tax admin costs

As the 2015 Autumn Statement approaches, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has urged Chancellor George Osborne to cut tax administration costs, as part of the Government’s drive to reduce red tape by £10 billion by the end of this Parliament.

In a letter to cabinet ministers, the BCC has outlined a number of recommendations for reducing the cost of tax administration, which it believes is having an adverse effect on UK businesses.

The business organisation suggests reducing the number of changes to business tax rules, by making such changes subject to the scrutiny of the Regulatory Policy Committee, and by including tax administration measures in the Government’s ‘one in, two out’ rule covering other forms of regulation.

In addition, the BCC is calling for HM Revenue and Customs to be subject to a Growth Duty and regular reporting, in line with economic regulators in the UK.

The business group also wants to see investment in HMRC support for business users, equal to the amount being spent on improving enforcement.

Dr Adam Marshall of the BCC commented: ‘Ministers need to put a brake on the number of changes to tax administration and compliance rules, much as they have done with other forms of regulation in recent years.

‘HMRC is under a lot of scrutiny from business and individual taxpayers at the moment, and rightly so. By taking steps to reduce the number and frequency of changes to tax rules, the Government would at a stroke make a big improvement to the prospects for business.’

The Chancellor will present the Autumn Statement and Spending Review to the House of Commons on Wednesday 25 November.

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