ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.


The Growth Plan 2022: Au revoir OTS


Published: 26 Sep 2022 Update History

The Chancellor has announced that the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) will be closed down, although two existing projects currently in progress will continue.

The OTS was founded in 2010, taking over from the former Tax Law Rewrite project, which started in 1995 following a previous attempt to simplify the tax system.

12 years on, the Chancellor has decided that the OTS has run its course. He believes a different approach is needed; namely that HM Treasury and HMRC need to be mandated directly to focus on simplifying the tax code. This would embed such an approach into the two government institutions responsible for tax policy formulation and implementation.

This development should not be seen as a criticism of the OTS’s work, which was comprehensive, well-considered and in its 12 years of existence has produced many excellent recommendations. The difficulty has been with implementing them.

The OTS has little clout when it comes to putting the recommendations into practice. The result is that its excellent work has often been left to gather dust on the shelf, rather than forming the bedrock for a comprehensive tax simplification programme.

It remains to be seen how HM Treasury and HMRC will respond to this new mandate. Will they have any more success than the OTS in taming the mountain of complexity that is the UK tax system? 

Tax Faculty

This guidance is created by the Tax Faculty, recognised internationally as a leading authority and source of expertise on taxation. The Faculty is the voice of tax for ICAEW, responsible for all submissions to the tax authorities. Join the Faculty for expert guidance and support enabling you to provide the best advice on tax to your clients or business.

More support on tax

ICAEW's Tax Faculty provides technical guidance and practical support on tax practice and policy. You can sign up to the Tax Faculty's free enewsletter (TAXwire) which provides weekly updates on developments in tax.

Sign up for TAXwireJoin the Tax Faculty

More from the Tax Faculty

Latest news
Making tax digital image

Stay up to date with the latest developments in tax by signing up to the Tax Faculty's weekly e-newsletter

Practical guidance

Comprehensive support for Tax practitioners each month from the Tax Faculty and expert contributors.

Technical support
Tax Faculty image

Expert advice from the Tax Faculty's technical managers on all the developments in tax policy and practice.