The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has suggested a framework of questions which officials and ministers may wish to consider when developing and re-visiting policy. It has also issued its annual report.
Review of simplification
The review outlines following four areas that officials and ministers may wish to consider when developing policy:
- Are the rules, their purpose and their consequences easy to understand and predict?
- Are the rules and their administration taking advantage of modern developments, including technology?
- Is it easy enough to comply with the rules?
- Can taxpayers be better supported?
The OTS advises this framework should neither be as simple nor as rigid as a ‘checklist’, but considered proportionately and meaningfully.
The review also explores:
- complexity and the ways it impacts taxpayers, advisers, intermediaries, and government;
- the OTS’s aims and how it prioritises its work; and
- how the OTS measures its impact and success.
Annual Report 2021-22
The OTS picks up the theme of impact and success in its annual report. This includes government responses to consultations prompted by OTS work, including on net pay pension schemes and modernising stamp duty.
The period also covers:
- the second report on capital gains tax (CGT);
- the government’s responses to the two CGT reports and the second inheritance tax report;
- the reports on making better use of third party data and what would be involved in changing the date of the end of the tax year;
- the current review of property income;
- the publication of various evaluation papers and update notes on previous reviews; and
- providing input on various HM Treasury and HMRC consultations and corporate reports that follow on from earlier OTS work.
The annual report also points to future OTS work. This includes research into the tax aspects of hybrid and distance working, with a look at the personal tax return and third-sector taxation issues at a later date.
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