Covid and digitalisation main pressures on tax systems, says ACCA

Covid-19 and digitalisation are the two main pressures on tax systems around the world, according to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

The global accountancy organisation has warned of the need for tax systems to change in order to meet the growing global economic upheaval.

As outlined in ACCA’s Foundations For a Sound Tax System report, the association believes “simplicity, stability and certainty” are what is needed in tax systems going forward.

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Jason Piper, ACCA’s head of tax and business law said: “A good tax system will benefit both governments and their people; a poor one will unsettle individuals and discourage business, with impacts far beyond the tax system itself. Policy makers have an immense challenge in designing tax systems. 

“They need to be able to accept short-term imperfections, while taking a measured approach to implementing genuine structural improvements that meet the principles of simplicity and certainty in a transparent and accountable way that every jurisdiction has a different starting point, and different needs.”

He added: “The answers may be different, but every decision maker should think about the same questions as they consider each element of the system to avoid unexpected outcomes. Stakeholders can equally use those principles as a basis to judge both existing systems, and the proposals for change. 

“By considering alternative options, and looking at every stage from the underlying law, through the calculation and return process, and finally collection itself, simpler, better taxes that better fit the societies they work in can become a reality.”

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