The Law Society has admitted it is impressed with examples of more user-friendly tax legislation but says it still has reservations about the proposed £25m legislative rewrite.
The Inland Revenue has released examples of the new-look legislation and is seeking feedback from organisations such as the Law Society.
“We will be commenting on them but we were quite impressed,” said the society's revenue law committee secretary Jill Hallpike. “It did show that it was possible to produce legislation in a clearer, more user-friendly way.”
However, Hallpike reaffirmed the society's opposition to the so-called “Big Bang” rewrite of 7,000 pages of legislation that would take 40 people five years.
The Law Society wants the tax newspeak, which replaces “just and reasonable” with “fair”, to be introduced along with any new legislation.
Hallpike also expressed concerns over some aspects of the new legislation's layout and repeated definitions.
“We are not in favour of a second-person redraft,” she added. “You fail using second-person drafting – ie, yourself – when you've got legislation that could be directed at a number of people or a company.”
1. Paragraphs 2 to 8 apply for the purposes of this Schedule.
2. – (I) An individual is a qualifying individual for a year of assessment if apart from this Schedule he would be chargeable for the year to income tax [under Schedule A or Case I of Schedule D (or under both together) (a)] in respect of all relevant sums accruing to him in respect of a qualifying residence or qualifying residences and it is immaterial whether the sums are treated for . . .
1. The purpose of this schedule is to give individuals a tax relief for rent from a furnished letting or lettings in their only main residence.
2. The tax relief is called rent-a-room relief
3. The schedule applies in relation to the tax year 1995-96 onwards. Later paragraphs explain how it applies.
4. Definitions are shown in paragraph 24. The first time a defined word is used, it appears in italics.