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Morton replaces Whiting at Office of Tax Simplification

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PAUL MORTON has been appointed as the new tax director at the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), where he will fill the not-inconsiderable shoes of John Whiting.

The appointment will “increase the ability of the OTS to build on its achievements in simplifying the tax system”. Morton succeeds Whiting who is retiring as OTS tax director, a position he has held since the OTS’ establishment in 2010.

Morton will provide expert advice, guidance and direction and bring years of experience to the OTS and its board as a non-executive member.

Angela Knight, OTS chair, said: “I am delighted to welcome Paul to the OTS, the OTS will benefit greatly from his appointment. Paul will take over as tax director knowing that the OTS has been put on the best possible footing for the future because of John’s excellent work. I would like to thank John Whiting for his exceptional contribution.”

Jane Ellison, financial secretary to the Treasury, added her best wishes: “I would like to thank John Whiting for his outstanding contribution to the OTS over the past six years and for kindly agreeing to extend his time.”

OTS’ development

The OTS was established in 2010 to provide advice to the chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system and was made a permanent, independent office of HM Treasury in July 2015. It is being put on a statutory footing in the Finance Act 2016. To date, the government has implemented almost 200 OTS recommendations which have simplified the tax system, saving the employers an estimated £20m per year in administrative costs.

Ellison continued: “The OTS has a vital role to play in advising the government on ways to simplify the tax system, and Paul’s appointment will help the OTS make real progress in achieving that.”

Morton has previously held positions at Royal Dutch Shell, KPMG and the Inland Revenue and has been a council member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT). He has announced his retirement as the head of group tax at RELX Group, and will leave when a successor is appointed. Whiting will remain at the OTS to handover to Morton, who will attend the OTS Board from 1 January.

The news comes as earlier this year the Treasury Select committee stated that MP’s should be given the right to veto the appointment or dismissal of the senior leadership of the Office of Tax Simplification.

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