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Changing tax for the self-employed


  • Graeme Macdonald
  • Edward Whitehouse


The government’s overhaul of the direct tax system, including the 1984 reforms to the Corporation Tax, the introduction of Independent Taxation and in 1993, the introduction of ‘pay and file’ for companies, has so far left the taxation of the self-employed relatively untouched. Despite many criticisms of the system, including more recently the Keith Committee report (1983) and the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons (1976), it is only now that the government has considered reforming the income tax system as it relates to the self-employed, with the publication of a consultative document, A Simpler System for Taxing the Self-Employed, (Inland Revenue, 1991a). At the heart of the proposals is reform of the ‘preceding year basis of assessment’ (PY basis), introduced by Winston Churchill in 1926, itself then billed as a ‘simplification’ of the system.

Suggested Citation

  • Graeme Macdonald & Edward Whitehouse, 1993. "Changing tax for the self-employed," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 107-126, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:14:y:1993:i:1:p:107-126

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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Blow & Ian Preston, 2002. "Deadweight loss and taxation of earned income: evidence from tax records of the UK self-employed," IFS Working Papers W02/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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