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Gauke hails ‘quick wins’ from OTS tax admin review

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On Monday, finance secretary to the Treasury David Gauke published a letter setting out the government’s response to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) review of the competitiveness of UK tax administration. In the letter, Gauke confirmed that HMRC had implemented four of the ‘quick wins’the OTS recommended in its review of employee benefits and expenses, as well as drafting legislation acting on five recommendations on non-tax advantaged employee share schemes, plus the release HMRC’s publication, Making tax easier, quicker and simpler for small business, setting targets to reduce tax administration costs by £250m by March 2015 and support small business.

Writing in last week’s Tax Journal, John Whiting, tax director of the OTS, said ‘it was gratifying that the OTS’s work on competitiveness was mentioned in the Autumn Statement, and in the context of most of our recommendations being taken forward’.

Jonathan Riley, head of tax at Grant Thornton, said: ‘It is heartening to see 29 of OTS’s 58 recommendations agreed and 22 “for further consideration”. Many of the recommendations to “be considered” really mattered to mid-sized businesses, such as raising the threshold of transfer pricing, which would make exporting easier and tweaking the quarterly instalment rules for corporation tax so that they no longer act as a break on growing firms. It is a shame that the minister’s letter indicates that consideration of these measures will now be delayed until the next Parliament – we really need faster action to ensure the tax administration supports growth.’ 

Issue: 1243
Categories: News