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OTS scopes claims and elections review

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The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published a scoping document for a new review of the processes around tax claims and elections. The review will seek to establish the broad numbers and types of claims and elections across the main UK taxes, then focus on those that are more significant or more frequently used by a range of taxpayers. The OTS intends to issue a separate call for evidence shortly and publish its report in Autumn 2020.

The OTS highlights concerns about the prevalence of high-volume repayment agents who make claims on taxpayers’ behalf, in return for a fee. In some cases, it is unclear why there is a need to make a specific or separate claim or election outside of a tax return in order to benefit from a relief or exemption.

The review will be concerned primarily with administrative simplification, but will also consider related policy issues where relevant. Claims and elections most likely to be considered are:

  • claims for certain expenses incurred by employees and not reimbursed, such as flat-rate allowances such as for cleaning uniforms or for tools;
  • capital allowances, including issues arising when these are subject to specific claims, rather than handled within tax returns; and
  • elections under CAA 2001 s 198 (for allocating property sale proceeds between buildings and fixtures), taking forward a recommendation in the OTS’s 2017 report on simplifying the corporation tax computation.

The review will also consider whether greater use could be made of personal tax accounts, and the potential for employers or others involved in tax administration to be involved in the process, including supplying information to HMRC.


Issue: 1474
Categories: News