Tax rules to be simplified - especially for pensioners and share schemes

Published: Wednesday 6 July 2011

The Office of Tax Simplification announces details of future projects

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) was established in 2010 by the coalition Government to provide expert advice to the Chancellor on options to improve and simplify the UK’s tax system.

Alongside the OTS’s ongoing review of small business taxation the OTS has set out three new areas they want to focus on. These are:

• Pensioner taxation – to simplify the tax system, especially for those on low incomes from multiple sources.
• Share schemes – initially to streamline the approved share schemes and then to tackle the complexities of unapproved share schemes.
• Identifying complexity – to define and catalogue the ‘intense’ forms of complexity in the tax system to help set the long term priorities for the OTS.
The aim is to produce reports and recommendations on at least the first two issues to the Chancellor in time for the 2012 Budget.

The OTS has also said that it would like to review the whole field of employee benefits and expenses. However they do not think the time is right for this at the moment, but hope to start the initial scoping work in early 2012.

Our view
Although the Government are not obliged to act on the recommendations of the OTS we are hopeful that the most complex areas of tax, such as those for pensioners and share schemes will be simplified.