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The TLRC Discussion Paper no. 4, єax and Accounting: A Response to the 2003 Consultation Document on Corporation Tax Reform' written by Graeme Macdonald and David Martin, supported a number of tax reforms for companies. These included the abolition of the schedular system, the abolition for most purposes of the distinction between income and capital, and the abolition of most distinctions between investment and trading companies. Another proposal was that section 42 FA 1998 should be generalised, so that all taxable profits of a company (not just Case I, Case II and Schedule A income) would be determined by reference to accounting profits, save where tax law provides otherwise.

It was suggested that in this way corporation tax could be rationalised and simplified, many unjustified economic distortions could be removed, and the scope for avoidance could be reduced.

It was therefore proposed that, in due course, a new Corporation Tax Act should be introduced, and that existing legislation should be reviewed to see whether it should be modified or perhaps omitted altogether in the light of closer alignment with accounts. The new Act would, of course, be drafted in accordance with the principles of the Tax Rewrite Project, but would not merely reproduce in redrafted style existing legislation unless the continued usefulness of that legislation had been established by the review.

A closer alignment with accounts would be the basic policy behind the new Act. This would provide coherence, which, not surprisingly due to its aggregation over a long period without an overall review, is lacking in the ramshackle state of existing tax legislation for companies. The opportunity should also be taken to consider the scope to rationalise the tax code for companies where the issues arising are not directly related to the tax and accounting aspect. Although there is much to be done, there should be sufficient time for a review to take place before the tax rewrite team wishes to commence its work on corporation tax having finalised the remaining income tax Bills. The rewrite process could even start on those matters that have been agreed while there are still some outstanding corporation tax issues to be considered.