Office of Tax Simplification

The Office of Tax Simplification is an independent office of HM Treasury, part of the Government of the United Kingdom.[1] The office was created on 20 July 2010 to identify areas where complexities in the tax system for both businesses and individual taxpayers can be reduced, and then to publish their findings for the Chancellor to consider ahead of his budget.[2]

In 2016, the OTS was put on a statutory footing by Finance Act 2016 [3]

The initial board members were Michael Jack (Chairman), who as a former MP and Financial Secretary to the Treasury established the Tax Law Rewrite Project, and John Whiting (Tax Director) who is the first Tax Policy Director of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.[2] Jack and Whiting were appointed on an interim basis to lead the Office for the first year, and confirmed in office in September 2011.[4] Along with the members of committees established to support the work of the Office, they are not paid for their work.[2] They were supported by a small secretariat, including tax experts from HM Revenue and Customs and the Treasury and externally funded secondees from the tax and legal professions.[2] The first set of private sector secondees were Tom Byng, Caroline Turnbull-Hall, Partha Ray and Kate Cottrell, who joined Jeremy Sherwood, Tunde Ojetola and Anish Mehta.[5]

In 2015, former MP Angela Knight CBE was appointed chair and in November 2016, the appointment of Paul Morton as Tax Director was announced [6]

In March 2019, Kathryn Cearns OBE [7] was appointed OTS chair. Bill Dodwell was appointed Tax Director from 15 January 2019 [8]

The OTS submitted 2 reports to the Chancellor in March 2011. These are the Review of Tax Reliefs[9] and the Review of Small Business Taxation.[10] The Chancellor accepted some of the recommendations in his Budget announcement where he agreed to abolish 43 reliefs.[11]

See also


  1. "Office of Tax Simplification". HM Treasury. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  2. "Press Notice 29/10: Office of Tax Simplification". HM Treasury. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  3. "Finance Act 2016". HM Government. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  4. Whiting takes permanent tax simplification role, Accountancy Age, 30 September 2011
  5. "OTS Recruits 4 Secondees". HM Treasury. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  6. "Office of Tax Simplification announces Paul Morton as new Tax Director". Office of Tax Simplification. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  7. "Kathryn Cearns". HM Government. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  8. "The Chancellor and the Office of Tax Simplification announce Bill Dodwell as new Tax Director". Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  9. "Review of Tax Reliefs". HM Treasury. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  10. "Review of Small Business Taxation". HM Treasury. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  11. "Abolished Tax Reliefs". HM Treasury. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
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