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Govt warned against surprise Budget tax rises

The Government should stop pulling surprise taxation measures out of the Budget box if it wants to provide stability in the tax system, the Chartered Institute of Taxation has warned.

In its written evidence to the Treasury select committee’s report into the Finance Bill, published today, the CIOT said it was concerned about a lack of consultation around last minute changes to the bank levy and the taxation of the oil industry.

Its evidence says: “It is surely better to evolve changes to the way sectors are taxed through consultation rather than pull the changes out of the Budget box. That would allow time to assess the international implications.”

Chancellor George Osborne (pictured) announced at the Budget the bank levy would rise from 0.075 per cent to 0.078 from 2012 and tax for offshore drilling profits would rise from 20 per cent to 32 per cent to pay for a cut in fuel duty.

Osborne also announced Corporation Tax would fall to 23 per cent over the next three years and the CIOT praises this long-term framework as an important contribution.

Last month the committee released a report calling for tax policy to be made in accordance with the principles of fairness, supporting growth and competition, certainty, stability, practicality and coherence.

In the report the CIOT says: “If this were a school report card we would probably score it seven out of 10 and a promising start, but with distinct areas for improvement and care in the next school year.”

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