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Office of Tax Simplification produce initial tax allowances list

Office of Tax Simplification produce initial tax allowances list

Earlier this week, the Office of Tax Simplification published a comprehensive list of all the UK tax reliefs and allowances that are available; 1042 of them!

How many contractor accountants can name all of them?

The OTS is now asking people to let them know if they have missed any off the list and invited the public to leave comments on its website if they take advantage of any of the allowances.

John Whiting, the OTS’ tax director, said he expected some people to be surprised at the number of reliefs in our current tax system. In fact, he had only expected to find a couple of hundred. Some of these allowances have a clear, valuable benefit and we do not want to change those. However, others may not be used any longer or be too complex and onerous to be of any great use, and it is those that the team wants to focus on.

Of course this long list is going to contain some odd sounding allowances such as ‘angostura bitters relief’, and this sort of relief will also be closely scrutinised.

The OTS has set criteria for abolition of an allowance and these will take into consideration the cost of administering the relief and the complexity of the legislation.

The OTS has also set up two consultative committees to take on board input from SMEs and their advisers. The small business tax review committee includes the chairman of the PCG, Chris Bryce, and Anita Monteith from the ICAEW.

In separate news, HMRC published its business plan on Monday which lays down its intention to implement real-time information for the PAYE system by April 2014.

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