While CFE has already expressed many of the views of our members to the Study Group, we thought it timely and appropriate to write to you to formally express our views on one fundamental aspect of the draft working papers as published on the website. Prior to doing so we wish to acknowledge the recognition within the working papers of the role of tax advisers in the functioning of tax administrations.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is pleased to have been asked to comment on the Working Papers 4 to 6 in respect of the OECD Tax Intermediaries Study. Wewelcome the attempt to reduce the burdens placed upon taxpayers and their agents by reducing their contact with revenue bodies. We have tried to respond fully to this very important consultation, but we are conscious that our paper has been prepared under resource constraints caused by a need to cover a plethora of consultations from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). We trust we have responded adequately to the issues, and look forward to further involvement in discussions on the project.
The CFE acknowledges the decision adopted by the ECJ in the Halifax case (C-255/02), on the 21st February 2006, which ruled in favour of the principle of prohibition of abuse of EC law as a general principle of interpretation. Although the ECJ justifies its decision with reference to an ongoing movement to combat and prevent evasion, avoidance and abuse (as an objective recognized and encouraged by the Sixth Directive – see joined cases C-487/01 and C-7/02 Geneente Lenden and Holin Groep and para. 71 of C-255/02), no doubt exists that it represents a significant landmark in tax matters and, in particular, in the VAT area.