UK tax and development agencies seek to ‘galvanise’ capacity building efforts

A high-level roadmap for revenue reform in developing countries over a period of four to six years will help ensure that external support is coordinated rather than fragmented, but the strategy’s core elements must include social consensus, according to UK tax and development agencies backing the Platform for Collaboration on Tax.

The stated goal of a closed event held in London on May 4 was to “focus and galvanise” international efforts to raise tax revenues in partner countries. The event was hosted by the UK’s Department for International Development, HM Treasury, and HM Revenue & Customs in partnership with the platform, an initiative announced last year by the IMF, OECD, World Bank, and United Nations. Read more:

My news story for Tax Analysts, May 6 (paywall)


Scottish budget process needs improvement, tax body says

The Scottish Parliament should consider setting up a new parliamentary committee to scrutinise Scotland’s tax legislation, the Chartered Institute of Taxation said amid concerns about the quality of public debate and the impact of business incorporations on tax revenues.

The Parliament now has powers to raise and allocate revenue but needs to recognise constraints posed by the limited devolution of tax powers, CIOT noted in an April 27 submission to a budget process review group set up by the Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee … The quality of public understanding and engagement with the tax system is quite low, making it difficult to have a sensible public debate about possible options, CIOT argued.

While Scotland is being given devolved taxation powers, it is “not being given the data on which to make decisions,” Richard Murphy, tax campaigner and professor of practice in international political economy at City, University of London, told committee last month. Read more:

My news story for Tax Analysts, May 5 (paywall)

Scottish approach to taxation: FCC hearing, April 19

New government must set out roadmap for equalising NICs, says Work and Pensions Committee

Bogus self-employment in the gig economy is passing the cost of providing safety net support to the welfare state and leading to a substantial loss of tax revenue, a UK parliamentary committee said as it revealed a wide range of practices that “seemed to blur the line” between employment and self-employment.

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into self-employment and the gig economy, launched in December 2016, was cut short by the prime minister’s decision to call a general election. How the welfare state adapts to a changing labour market is “one of the great issues of our time,” the committee said in an abridged report published on May 1.

My news story for Tax Analysts, May 3 (paywall)