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OTS says tax in UK will never be completely simplified

The truth is out after the Office of Tax Simplification admits they’ll never actually be able to simplify the UK tax code completely [1], though none were surprised.

John Whiting, head of the OTS, recently granted an interview, remarking that while his government department has been tasked with driving all complexity out of UK taxation, he believed that there will never be a way to create a tax system that will be completely simple to each and every taxpayer. Instead the best hope for the millions of taxpayers in the UK is taxes that are ‘simpler’ than they are now, in the words of Mr Whiting, and will be where his office will focus its efforts on going forward.

However, the 61 year old Mr Whiting was quick to caution that clarifying the nation’s tax laws could not always be accomplished without even more verbiage being added to our tax code, despite the broad aim of the OTS to shorten the code as much as humanly possible. The OTS chief, which took office in 2010, has already taken steps to pare down in excess of 100 pages of superfluous tax law, to his credit – and the credit of his office.

Much of this activity has been with the OTS and its efforts to streamline IR35 and other contractor issues. Despite this, Mr Whiting reiterated the fact that the simplification task of the OTS is far from complete.

The current focus of the Coffice, after already addressing taxation and employee share schemes for pensioners, is to develop a more than 20 issue shortlist.  VAT and business interest payment tax treatment are understood to be considered for these new issues.

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