Press Room

17 Jun 2024

Andrew Parkes comments on anomalies in the UK’s tax code, in the Financial Times


National Technical Director, Andrew Parkes, comments on anomalies in the UK’s tax code that can appear to be confusing or unfair, in the Financial Times.

Andrew’s comments were published in the Financial Times’ online edition, 14 June 2024, and in print on 15 June 2024.

“Anomalies in the tax system are often a result of simplicity being prioritised over fairness. Take the Child Benefit High Income Charge: It comes into play as soon as someone hits £60,000 – simple. But two people earning £59,999 each don’t pay it – unfair. Moving the threshold to £100,000 just reduces the number of people caught, but for those who are, their tax rate increases when it is already over 50% – arguably more unfair.

“Then consider Rent a Room relief: if your partner moves in with you one day before the end of the tax year and becomes entitled to part of your relevant income, your relief is halved. Admittedly they get the half you lose, but are unlikely to be able to use it. Then in a real triumph for simplicity, if there are three or more people living in the house and getting relevant income, they each get half an allowance. This can lead to 150% or more of the relief being given.”


Andrew Parkes

Andrew is a highly experienced international tax specialist who worked at a senior level in HMRC’s international teams for over 10 years. He has a wealth of experience and technical knowledge.

Email: Andrew Parkes