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Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003

The Tax Law Rewrite Project

5.In December 1995 the Inland Revenue presented a report to Parliament on the scope for simplifying the UK tax system (The Path to Tax Simplification). The main recommendation was that UK direct tax legislation should be rewritten in clearer, simpler language.

6.This recommendation was warmly welcomed, both in Parliament and in the tax community. After further work on important practical issues and a period of preliminary consultation, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer (the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP, QC) announced in his November 1996 Budget statement that the Inland Revenue would propose detailed arrangements for a major project to rewrite direct tax legislation in plainer language.

7.The project team was given the task of rewriting almost all of the United Kingdom’s existing primary direct tax legislation. The aim is that the rewritten tax law should use simpler language and structure than legislation that it replaces. The members of the project are from different backgrounds, including Inland Revenue employees, private sector tax professionals and parliamentary counsel including (as head of the drafting team) a senior member of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel.

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