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Up Next for the OTS

Future work of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS)

The OTS has announced its next lot of future objects within three timelines, namely:

  1. Projects for the next 12 months;
  2. Wider range of projects to consider over the next three years; and
  3. Identifying areas which should be developed over the longer term.

Resources will be applied to the greatest effect, which means measures which benefit the greatest number of people on the largest number of occasions. At the same time, however, the OTS will not ignore the opportunity for a “quick win” where only a small number of people benefit but nevertheless achieves a useful outcome.

The OTS will also consider areas where simplification is clearly necessary even if the numbers of people affected are small and the task is harder, areas where it would simply be “the right thing to do”.

Results of the OTS’s work will be presented in either:

  • Formal reports
  • Analysis
  • Insights

Current work

Following progress on the report on VAT, the OTS aim to publish this either this month or next.

In the ‘Review of the Corporation Tax Computation’, the OTS learned that businesses viewed the capital allowances regime as a source of complexity. As a result, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has asked the OTS to undertake a review of capital allowances with the possibility of simplifying or replacing such reliefs by allowing full relief for depreciation of assets in the accounts. Work on this is already underway.

Next 12 months

  • Wide review of technology, exploring how recent advances in technology may provide opportunities for the simplification of the design or administration of the tax system. Developments in other countries will be considered and the OTS will also investigate the ways in which the digital economy might pose challenges for the simple administration of taxes.
  • Building on the business lifecycle work by examining more closely specific areas such as reliefs for investment.
  • Review of aspects of the taxation of savings and investments.
  • Review of aspects of Inheritance Tax.

Mid-term and beyond

The OTS will continue to engage with all parties on Making Tax Digital and it is likely that there will be ongoing work on employment status and the Gig economy.

There will also be a review of the structure of tax systems in other countries, particularly the USA, Ireland and the Netherlands to ascertain if there are features that could provide simplification opportunities for the UK.

By Andy Vessey

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1 thought on “Up Next for the OTS”

  1. My good name

    May as well just close the OTS …. waste of money … nothing they recommend is ever implemented and tax is as complex as ever.

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