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Office of Tax Simplification recommends abolition of 47 tax reliefs

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Forty-seven of the UK’s tax reliefs should be abolished because there is no ongoing policy rationale, or they are time expired, or their value is outweighed by the administrative burden, according to the Office of Tax Simplification.

In its review of tax reliefs, published today, the OTS also recommends that 17 reliefs be simplified, including those relating to the enterprise investment scheme, venture capital trusts, CGT entrepreneurs’ relief, and CGT private residence relief.

The OTS has conducted an ‘extensive review and consultation’ on 155 of the 1,042 tax reliefs that it identified last November.

Reliefs recommended for abolition include those relating to cycle to work days (provision of meals); late night taxis; trade union subscriptions; luncheon vouchers (daily relief for first 15p); miners’ coal and allowances in lieu of coal; business premises renovation allowance; flat conversion allowances; and blind person’s allowance (if and when alternative and equivalent funding is in place).

John Whiting, OTS Tax Director, said: ‘We’ve had to make some hard choices to give us a manageable list to review at this stage, but we hope that the recommendations we have put forward today represent a common sense approach, and would help to ease the burdens of the more useful tax reliefs on those that use them.’

The OTS’s interim report on small business taxation is expected to be released next week.