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Expect heavier enforcement of existing taxes in Budget, says Baker Tilly

Stronger enforcement of existing taxes and anti-avoidance measures are likely to be a central focus in the forthcoming Budget, according to tax specialist Baker Tilly.

Speaking this morning at a pre-Budget briefing, Baker Tilly head of tax George Bull said Chancellor Alistair Darling had little room to make further tax cuts to stimulate the economy and was more likely to take a tougher stance on existing legislation.

He said: “What is going on with vigour is the creation of much tougher rules, much tougher enforcement, a new penalty regime and new powers and I think we’ll see all of those used to enforce the existing taxes with much greater effect.”

Bull said Darling would struggle to raise more revenue immediately and therefore the tax authorities would through established or new legislation take more powers, more frequently to combat specific tax avoidance ideas.

He also warned that the increasingly sophisticated business landscape had created a complex tax system which was problematic for private clients and corporates.

He said: “Every week tax experts uncover a new point that they don’t fully understand. The real problem with a complex tax system is that neither individuals nor businesses can have great certainty about how tax will affect them and without certainty the business decisions are compromised.”

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