Office of Tax Simplification

4 October 2010

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) was launched by the Government in July 2010.

The Office has been established to provide advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system, with the objective of reducing compliance burdens on both businesses and individual taxpayers.

The Chancellor George Osborne described the launch:

“The previous Government took a complex tax system and made it even worse. A decade of meddling and intervening has made the tax affairs of millions of families and businesses across the UK extremely complicated. We need to sort out this mess.

"Two years ago I promised to create the Office of Tax Simplification. Today, we’re delivering on that promise. With its independent, expert advice it will be a permanent force for a simpler tax system.

“Simpler, more competitive taxes will help us show the world that Britain is open for business.”

The OTS will initially perform two reviews, one inrespect of tax reliefs and the other small business tax simplification (including IR35).

As part of the initial report, the Office will also explore alternative legislative approaches to IR35. IR35 (the intermediaries legislation) is legislation introduced in 2000 to counter avoidance of tax on employment income where workers receive payments from a client via an intermediary (usually a personal service company) and the relationship between the worker and the client would otherwise be one of employment.

For further information visit: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ots.htm