Tories pledge to establish OTS ‘permanently’

THE OFFICE OF TAX SIMPLIFICATION would be permanently established, given greater resource and see its role expanded under a Conservative government, the party confirmed in a manifesto pledge.

The body, led by former CIoT tax policy director John Whiting (pictured), was brought in following the 2010 general election and tasked with stripping out poor and unnecessary areas of the tax code and advising on policy.

Despite having just six members of staff – some of whom are part-time – its work has been well-received and the Conservatives have committed to retaining and bolstering the organ in the next parliament.

“The creation of the Office of Tax Simplification in 2010 has resulted in many improvements to the UK tax system. We will establish the OTS on a permanent basis and expand its role and capacity,” the party’s manifesto pledge read.

Grant Thornton head of tax Jonathan Riley said: “The Conservative Party’s pledge to establish the OTS on a permanent basis is something many will welcome and something Grant Thornton has been calling for for some time. We’d hope other parties also adopt this thinking, as whichever party(ies) come into power will undoubtedly find the OTS’s recommendations compelling in helping to solve the complex and labyrinthine issue of tax interpretation.”

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