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Don’t tax the robots

17 July 2018

The AAT has firmly condemned recommendations to tax workplace robots, despite the accountancy sector facing rapid automation and increased use of AI.

AAT believes that as long as it is implemented in an effective way, automation, digitalisation and the increased use of AI should be embraced rather than feared.

It has therefore concluded that taxing robots would be completely self-defeating and ‘completely unacceptable’.

AAT’s head of public affairs and policy, Phil Hall, said: “While some jobs will be lost because of automation, it is likely that many more will be created. A robot tax would undermine investment, limit employee skills and income, and risk relegating British business and the British economy to second or third tier status.”

A recent AAT survey of members found 60% believe basic accountancy processes will be fully automated within the next five years, but this was not viewed as a negative because 89% welcomed advanced in technology as being positive for the accountancy sector.

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