Our tax code is getting smaller. Well, sort of. The BBC reports that Tolley's Yellow Tax Handbook, the complete guide to UK tax law, is going to be printed in a smaller font.
Back in 2001 the tax code 5,942 pages long. Oh how struggling small businesses must look back to those good old days when they only had to wade through a mere 6000 pages, because this year the tax code has grown to a whooping 10,500 pages. Well again, sort of. Actually, the tax code for 2007 is 9,866 pages long, and so can conveniently just about squeeze into four volumes. However, had the text been printed in the old format it would have run to 10,500 pages and required a fifth volume.
Apparently part of the explanation for the growth in the tax code has been the need to give space for the explanation required by our new tax laws. So let’s get this straight: because our tax code is so long and complicated it needs to made even longer and more complicated to explain its complexities… Furthermore, in an attempt to stamp out tax avoidance more legislation has been passed and added to the tax code. Whilst this move may conform to some bizarre bureaulogic, the rest of us know that by increasing the tax code they have simply made it more difficult and expensive for small businesses to translate and comply with the law, whilst big businesses will still find the loop holes as they have the resources to devote to this purpose.
The irony is that all of these goals – a tax code with which is easier to understand and harder to avoid - can be achieved with one simple step – flat taxes.