Conference 2021: tax research days (8-9 September 2021)

These two days will contain a mix of keynote and panel sessions and paper presentations. All will be available online only (two streams running in parallel) or face to face (one stream that will also be live broadcast to remote delegates to create a third stream through the two days). More than 35 research papers will be presented across these two days.

Need a flavour of what you can expect in attending the Tax Research Days at a TRN Annual Conference? See the following tasters from last year’s event: 

For more videos from TRN Annual Conferences, and other TRN activities, please see our Youtube channel at

Keynote and panel sessions for the 2021 conference will include (more details will be announced in the near future):

‘Tax expenditures and fiscal welfare – why both social policy and tax specialists should care’

Professor Adrian Sinfield – Emeritus Professor of Social Policy and University Fellow, University of Edinburgh 

This keynote session will be led by a senior social policy and tax researcher, Professor Sinfield who has spent a career researching and leading policy developments at national and international levels at the interaction between tax policy and social policy. 

Professor Sinfield

Professor Sinfield has researched and taught on the social division of welfare, especially taxation; unemployment and social security; and on poverty and inequality. Past chair and president of the Social Policy Association, he received its first lifetime achievement award.  Co-founder of the Unemployment Unit and chair for its first ten years, he has also been vice-chair of the Child Poverty Action Group. He has acted as consultant to the OECD on the long-term unemployed, youth unemployment and the wider impact of unemployment; to the EC on poverty; to ILO on social security and taxation; and to the UN on industrial welfare.  

Professor Sinfield will present his latest work on tax expenditures in interview with TRN Chair, Andy Lymer followed by a live debate of this important tax policy area (as evidenced by recent NAO studies for example in this area).

‘Border Issues and Behavioural Change: understanding the impact of changes in tax policy on taxpayer behaviour and neighbouring nations’

Session chairs – Sara Closs-Davies (Bangor University) & Amy Lawton (University of Edinburgh)
Keynote speaker – Dyfed Alsop, CEO, Welsh Revenue Authority & Anna Adams, Deputy Director, Head of Tax Strategy Policy & Engagement, Welsh Government

– Rob Hay, Deputy Head of Tax Strategy, Welsh Revenue Authority
– TBC: representatives of Revenue Scotland & Department of Finance, Northern Ireland

Dyfed Alsop

Dyfed Alsop is the first Chief Executive of the WRA. He started his career in the private sector working for HSBC in Wales and internationally. He moved into civil service and held various roles at HM Treasury before joining HM Revenue and Customs in 2003, where he held positions in the Strategy Unit and in Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence.  He subsequently held a number of board level roles at the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), recently as Chief Strategy Officer. Whilst at the VOA, he designed and delivered major change programmes, including significant reforms to the local tax system. Dyfed has acted as the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) Implementation Director since August 2016. 

Anna Adams

 Anna Adams is Deputy Director for Tax Strategy, Policy and Engagement at the Welsh Treasury, where she is responsible for the formulation and development of tax policy for the Welsh Government. Prior to joining the Welsh Government, Anna worked for the City of Philadelphia for 11 years, most recently serving as Budget Director.

‘The dreadful monster and its poor relations- taxing, spending and the United Kingdom 1707 – 2021’ – a panel debate based on The Dreadful Monster and its Poor Relations (

Julian Hoppit

Session chair – Alexis Brassey, Cambridge University
Keynote speaker – Julian Hoppit, Astor Professor of British History, UCL (the book’s author)
– Dominic de Cogan, University Senior Lecturer, Cambridge University 
– Chantal Stebbings, Professor of Law and Legal History, University of Exeter
– Martin Daunton, Professor Emeritus of Economic History at the University of Cambridge

Julian Hoppit joined UCL in 1987 as a lecturer and is now the Astor Professor of British History and a Fellow of the British Academy. Initially, his research was as an economic historian, exploring business enterprise in eighteenth-century England. He then wrote a general survey of English history from the Glorious Revolution of 1688-9 to 1727. More recently he has focused on the relationship between politics and the economy in Britain between 1660 and 1800. He is currently working on a project called ‘Public finances and the Union, 1707-1978’ which considers the territoriality of central government taxation and expenditure within Britain and Ireland, including public reactions to that.

‘Taxation and housing – how do we get the relationship right?’

Stuart Adam

Session chair – Carlene Wynter (Aston University)
Keynote speaker – Stuart Adam (Institute for Fiscal Studies) 
Panellists – TBC 

Stuart Adam is a Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, where he has worked for almost 20 years. His research focuses on analysing the design of the tax and benefit system, covering the full range of personal, business and indirect taxes and how they interact. He has written widely on the taxation of residential and commercial property, including major reports last year on how and why to reform council tax in England and Wales. Stuart was an author and editor of the influential Mirrlees Review of the UK tax system.