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The government commissioned us to:
- review a list of all reliefs, allowances and exemptions, applying to both businesses and individuals, within the taxes and duties administered by HMRC
- identify those reliefs that should be repealed or simplified to support the government’s objective for a simpler tax system
We were asked to produce an interim report in late autumn 2010 and a final report with recommendations to the Chancellor ahead of Budget 2011.
The review needed to look at:
- the impact of removing or simplifying individual reliefs, both for individual taxpayers and the wider economy
- the government’s wider objectives for the tax system including the need for it to be internationally competitive, support fairness and provide sustainable revenue
The government was particularly interested in identifying those reliefs that:
- were largely historic or had a policy rationale that had weakened over time
- were not frequently used
- benefited a small number of taxpayers but may have created distortions in the tax system
- were used by larger number of taxpayers but that were complex for business and/or HMRC to administer