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Do contractor accountants want to know how their tax is spent?

Do contractor accountants want to know how their tax is spent?

Last week, Ben Gummer, the Conservative MP for Ipswich, called on the government to introduce statements that explained how it intended to spend the tax it collects from contractor accountants.

Under Gummer’s proposal, UK taxpayers would receive an annual statement detailing the amount of tax they would need to pay in both the current financial year and year after. In addition, the statement would show how the money would be split between individual government departments.

The data in these statements would be based around tax returns, P60s and budget statements. He also said that when it came near to an election, the statement could include information after opposition proposals.

Ben Gummer, the son of John Gummer, the former Tory agriculture minister, believes the current tax system contains too much obscurity. Providing taxpayers with information on exactly how their taxes are spent will make it much more transparent and shift public debate, he said.

Whilst this might sound like a feasible idea in principle, is there really a need to send out printed statements? If taxes are allotted to government departments on a percentage basis, maybe the coalition could publish the data on its website; x% of your tax will be spent on defence, y% on education etc.  At least that would cut down expenditure on paper and printing.

We would all like to see a more transparency in taxation, but it has to be possible to achieve that without additional cost to the taxpayer.

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Image: Up the winding path by Steve-h

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