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OTS given permanent basis

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The chancellor announced during his Summer Budget that the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) would be put on a statutory footing in the Finance Bill 2016 with expanded role and capacity. Patrick Stevens, CIOT’s tax policy director, said: ‘This Budget puts the OTS on a permanent footing, and boy does it give them a lot to do. Pensions tax relief, inheritance tax and dividend taxation all have additional complications thrown in by this Budget. With the placing of the OTS on a statutory footing, we hope that it will be given more resources to continue its work and will have more ability to hold the government to account if its recommendations are not taken forward and to be involved in their implementation if they are.’

As its next two projects, the government has announced that the OTS will review the closer alignment of income tax and NICs; and review the taxation of small companies. Patrick Stevens commented: ‘These are two important areas where there is a clear need for simplification. On small companies, in particular, we hope the OTS will be able to take a serious look at whether it is possible to simplify all tax and regulation matters for micro-businesses including income tax, NI, VAT and regulation.’