The level of tax complexity: A comparative analysis between the UK and Turkey based on the OTS Index
International Tax Journal
Kluwer Law International
Reason for embargo
Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by Kluwer Law International. Three month embargo to be applied on publication.
Tax systems are becoming more complex for many reasons. Some countries such as Australia, New Zealand (NZ) and UK have attempted to simplify their taxes but with very limited success. One significant contribution is the Complexity Index developed by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) in UK This paper examines general issues regarding the reasons for complexity, its costs and consequences and how taxation might be made simpler. It then examines the potential of using an index like the OTS Complexity Index for making international comparisons by applying it to personal income tax, corporate income tax, VAT and inheritance tax in Turkey and the UK It finds some striking differences in the complexity of these taxes in the two countries. Turkey scores better in terms of policy and legislative complexity whereas UK does better in terms of implementation. This paper also provides evidence that such indexes identify areas where the level of complexity might be unnecessarily high. In particular, while the high scores for underlying complexity and resource impact of income tax in both countries might suggest it is inherently a complex tax, it might also indicate it is a good focus for attempts at simplification.
This is the author accepted manuscript.
Awaiting citation and DOI