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Taxes are determined from Budget to Budget. It has been argued that a more strategic approach to taxes is needed for future tax reform.

Government has previously published road maps for individual taxes such as Corporate tax. One argument is that this could be extended to cover other taxes.

There is a well established body of policy research that proposes the principles that may shape taxation. An influential example of this is the Mirrlees review of taxation published in 2011 by the Institute for Fiscal Studies which calls for a progressive, neutral tax system. More recent research has clarified similar ideas.

There are competing arguments for Government to have a tax strategy. Possible advantages are that this could reduce distortions in the tax system and provide taxpayers with greater certainty over Government decisions. Possible downsides of a tax strategy are that any principles set out may be too vague to be useful for policy-making and this may limit the flexibility of Government to respond to changing needs. 

The Treasury Committee’s Tax after coronavirus report published on 1 March 2021 calls for Government to publish a strategy outlining the main aims of the tax system. The Government’s initial response did not commit to produce such a strategy and was invited by the Treasury Committee to give a further response. The Government published a further response on 14 September 2021.

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