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Simplicity in taxation has considerable potential advantages. However, attempts to simplify tax systems are only likely to be successful and enduring if they take account of the reasons why taxation is complex.
There are strong pressures on tax systems to accommodate a range of important factors, as well as complex and changing national and international environments within which modern tax systems have to operate.
This book explores the experiences of simplification in a range of countries and jurisdictions. The authors analyse a range of manifestations of simplification, including tax systems, tax law, taxpayer communications and tax administration. They also review the longer term or more fundamental approaches to simplification, suggesting that in order to strike the optimum balance between simplicity and the aims of a tax system in terms of efficiency and equity, a range of complex environmental factors must all be taken into account.
With chapters reflecting on experiences from Australia, China, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, the UK and the US, the authors illustrate differences between jurisdictions and the changing environment in which they operate.
This book addresses the crucial balance between simplicity and the other objectives of tax design and reform, and suggests that reformers of the tax system should include simplicity as one of the key evaluators of any design or reform proposal.