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Taxes must be clear and accountable

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Tax laws need to be reformed so that they are open, transparent and pose less of a burden to smaller businesses and entrepreneurs.

That was the message delivered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) on the launch of a new policy paper.

The paper, entitled Tax Principles: from Adam Smith to Barack Obama, highlights a number of areas where the ACCA believe that changes are needed in tax systems all over the world.

These include making legislation simpler, clarifying the rules on the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion, ensuring that tax systems do not stifle competition, and creating green taxes that are easy to understand.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA, said: “Legislation needs to be clear – no more stealth taxes, no more unexplained tax hikes. Regimes need to be user-friendly for business and individuals alike.

“The volume of legislation needs to be kept to a minimum too, especially to help over-burdened small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

He added: “Taxation is a dynamic economic and social tool and must inevitably change in nature as national economies and business sectors develop.”