Light bulb

February 6, 2020

Expiry date: midnight on 7 February 2020

Time is tight, but if you are carrying around a LIGHT BULB moment of inspiration about the tax system, well, you have a chance to get it to the right people.

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the Budget Submissions Window is open, which is when the Treasury opens itself to ideas from all and sundry about what should be in the March Budget.

No, don’t get too excited. It takes the form of a nasty cheapskate little “survey” window you can find here – and I have to say I don’t recommend this, as the one year I tried it they swore blind they’d never received my suggestion, there were no records of what suggestions had been received through the portal, and go away peasant (I paraphrase). You can also send your suggestion in an email to Budget.Representations@hmtreasury.gov.uk which at least has the benefit of leaving you with some evidence of what you said and when you said it.

Don’t get too excited, though. Although the Treasury may say

HM Treasury welcomes representations as part of the policy-making process. The views of stakeholders are gratefully received.

I wouldn’t get too invested in telling them how to change the world. If you are an MP then OK, a Minister might get to read your idea. If you represent an accountancy body or another “stakeholder” then, yes, your stuff will be read and summarised for the Minister. If you’re a tax muggle? You know, an ordinary member of the public, a Citizen Stakeholder? Your idea will be added to a list that’s looked at by… well, someone. You won’t get a reply. Because who really cares what the Citizen Stakeholder might want?

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