Does tax have to be so blooming complicated? Office of Tax Simplification boss Angela Knight reveals if a red-tape bonfire is realistic
Why can’t we just have a massive red-tape bonfire and make the tax system simpler for everyone?
Stories are always emerging about the ridiculous quirks of the tax system. There’s the debate over whether Jaffa Cakes are a cake or a biscuit – because they’d be subject to different levels of tax depending on which one it is. And the amount of VAT on gingerbread varies depending on whether or not they’ve got chocolate eyes or chocolate boots.
On this episode of the Big Money Questions, chair of the Office of Tax Simplification Angela Knight answers the big question.
She explains why things are so complicated, how easy it would be to just strip it all right back, and what a difference it could make if we did.
She also explains that technology such as apps could be used to make the system appear simpler to individuals and small businesses even if the underlying rules are not. For example, what if there was an app for different types of small business, from hairdressers to mechanics.
She also looks at the complexity of buy-to-let – and comes up with a neat solution.
And she addresses the ‘buggeration factor’ in the tax system, which might put otherwise honest people off doing the right thing – and what we can do about it.