CEO's welcome: May is a special month

Welcome: May is a special month
19 April 2023

May is a special month for us as we support students sitting their exams and celebrate with those who join as members at our Admission ceremonies.

There are 3,330 students across both bodies, sitting 4,340 papers! For CIOT students, they will be returning to centres for computer based exams and we wish them all the very best for the exam season. The CIOT Admission ceremony will be held at Drapers’ Hall on 10 May and we’ll be welcoming 387 new members and their guests across two ceremonies. We are looking forward to celebrating with you! Please do come and say hello to us!

We are both very excited to have been shortlisted for the Tolley’s Contribution to Taxation award for a not for profit organisation. This category is a public vote and the winner will be announced on 18 May and we wish all nominees the best of luck!

This year’s CTA address will be held (hybrid) on 8 June at 6.30pm at RSA House in London. The keynote speaker is Pascal Saint-Amans and the topic is ‘The future of international tax reform’. Our incoming President Gary Ashford will chair a panel discussion with Heather Self and Tove Ryding. Please register when you receive the email invitation.

Our EDI Committee is making good progress already with our EDI strategy and action plan and a workstream is up and running which is focusing on ‘Returners to Work’. Committee member Sylvia Hulse and Head of Membership Emma Barklamb are both leading on this work. Please do look out for further developments and opportunities to participate.

Several branches have significant ‘birthdays’ this year. If you are local to the area, please do attend and support them with their celebrations. Manchester and District celebrates its 90th on 4 July in The Rain Bar off Deansgate; East Anglia celebrate their 40th Anniversary with a lunch midway through their Conference with Giles Mooney on 3 May; East Midlands are holding a conference and dinner, also celebrating 40 years on 12 June; and North East England are holding a social/networking celebration of their 40th at the Keep in Newcastle on 6 July. These promise to be great fun and are aimed at new and existing members.

We are sure that it won’t come as any surprise that the Finance (No2) Bill 2023 when enacted will potentially add over 500 more pages to our increasingly lengthy tax code, ensuring that we remain at the top of ‘the longest tax code in the world’ league table. Unfortunately, this voluminous tax legislation comes with many drawbacks and creates a multitude of complexities, making it difficult for businesses and taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations.

With the demise of the Office of Tax Simplification, several professional bodies, including the CIOT and ATT have written a joint letter to Victoria Atkins MP, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, outlining several recommendations which the government should consider introducing to deliver on its commitment to simplify the tax compliance burden of businesses and taxpayers. We are seeking a meeting with the FST to discuss these further and are also arranging a follow-on meeting with Jim Harra at HMRC.

The letter, which can be found in full on both the CIOT and ATT websites, suggests going back to basics, defining what is meant by tax simplification and ensuring that there is the appropriate accountability within HMRC and government to deliver and monitor the simplification. The letter goes on to recommend seeking the views of a broad range of interested stakeholders and gaining early external views to contribute to policy design and implementation. If you have any views on how the tax system could be simplified, we would love to hear from you. Please send your comments to or