Taxation and Red Tape: The Cost to British Business of Complying with the UK Tax System


Economic Theory

The latest edition of the popular title from the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal which explores the link between economic freedom and prosperity

Labour Market

A critique of the New Economic Foundation's 21 hours report

Housing and Planning

Small firms suffer far more than large firms
Successive governments have promised to reduce business red tape, whilst doing nothing about it. In fact, with regard to the tax system, ever-greater numbers of taxes and ever-greater complexity have increased burdens on businesses by turning firms into unpaid tax collectors.

Research into the costs of regulation is notoriously difficult. However, this study brings together the best work on the burden of tax compliance and administration and adds important new insights. In particular, this monograph shows the severely regressive nature of the costs of complying with the UK tax system – small firms suffer far more than large firms from the imposition of government bureaucracy related to tax collection.

The costs of complying with the tax system are higher in the UK than in many other countries. The authors show that this should not be the case, and propose ways of reducing the burden of tax bureaucracy. These include radical reforms, not just to the administration of the tax system, but also to the nature of the system itself.

2010, Research Monograph 64, ISBN 978 0 255 36612 0, 167pp, PB

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