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OTS outlines future work plans

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published a paper outlining its future works programme, identifying areas of interest that the office will be looking at in the next twelve months and beyond.

The OTS is currently working on a review of VAT, and expects to publish its report in October or November 2017. Work has also commenced on a high-level paper on the business lifecycle which looks at key events and the various taxes which apply at these points.

The Government has requested a review of capital allowances and the possibility of using instead the depreciation charged in the financial statements. Work has commenced on this and the OTS aims to publish its report early next year.

During the next twelve months, the OTS will begin work on several further projects although not all of these will necessarily be taken forward, or their scope may be modified on further review. The projects include:

– a wide review of technology asking how recent advances in technology may provide novel opportunities for the simplification of the design or administration of the tax system;
– further examination of particular areas of the business lifecycle work, such as reliefs for investment;
– exploring the potential for a review of aspects of the taxation of savings and investments; and
– exploring the potential for a review of aspects of inheritance tax.

In the medium term, the OTS will continue to engage with stakeholders on Making Tax Digital and there is likely to be ongoing work on employment status and the ‘Gig economy’.

The OTS is also proposing to undertake a review of the structure of the tax system in other countries, particularly the US, Ireland and the Netherlands to explore whether there are structural features of other countries tax system which would provide simplification opportunities for the UK.

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