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Office of Tax Simplification

Volume 524: debated on Thursday 3 March 2011

The Government created the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) in July 2010 to provide independent advice on simplifying the tax system.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the OTS to review a list of all reliefs, allowances and exemptions, applying to both businesses and individuals, within the taxes and duties administered by HM Revenue and Customs, and to identify those reliefs that should be repealed or simplified to support the Government’s objective for a simpler tax system.

In November 2010 the OTS published a list of all reliefs in the tax system—1,042 in total. Further work narrowed this to 155 reliefs that they have now reviewed in detail.

Today the OTS has published its final report into its review of tax reliefs. It recommends that 45 reliefs be abolished, 17 be simplified and 54 retained in their current form.

The Government will respond to this report at the Budget on 23 March 2011. A copy of the report has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.