UK - Radical tax reforms and increased incentives for pension savings will be an integral part of the forthcoming green paper, Alan Pickering predicts.
Pickering – whose own Simplification Report is likely to be a cornerstone of the green paper when it is published on December 17 – set out his views in a speech to clients of software and systems provider Claybrook Computing.
And Pickering disagreed with many of his counterparts in the industry who had expressed their disappointment that Chancellor Gordon Brown had not unveiled any radical reforms in his pre-Budget report.
Pickering explained: “The reason that the revenue did not go public earlier is not because they were trying to find obstacles to radical reform, but because they were trying to overcome those obstacles.”
He believes the government will also allow people to draw a pension while continuing to work for the same firm, give lower earners higher rate tax relief and offer firms incentives to provide pensions for their staff through US-style tax breaks.
Pickering said he believed the Revenue had realised that it had become far too heavy-handed in its approach and this would be reflected in its report.
He noted: “I think that [this review] will see the Revenue retreat to the touchline.”
But Pickering stressed the industry must look at any reforms on a long-term basis and not bury itself in detail and focus on technical matters.
He noted: “We must respond on a top-down basis and see if the government is moving the industry in a sensible way.
“If we can agree on the big picture than we are all on the same side when it comes down to the detail.”
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