There is considerable scope for improving the functioning of the tax system in ways that would enhance welfare. Too many aspects of it impose unnecessary costs and indeed create inequities. While this government has followed some consistent policies – notably, in some aspects of corporation tax and in increasing the income tax personal allowance – there are few signs of a wider coherent strategy. The same has been true of other recent governments. Many aspects of the system have become more complex. There have been numerous policy reversals. And few of those aspects of the system in most need of reform have been tackled. The need for reform, and a clear strategy for reform, remain as pressing as ever.