OTS Board Member Recruitment

Office of Tax Simplification is recruiting for a board member

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https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/appointment/office-of-ta...

I admit to frustration in that I have not seen any tax simplification since the OTS was set up.  In fact taxes have become more complex, eg the health and social care levy.

Shall we nominate someone for this role?  It needs to be someone who won't go native (is this an acceptable phrase anymore?) and accept what HM Treasury / HMRC say but will persist in voicing the concerns of taxpayers and their diligent but frustrated tax agents.

Replies (16)

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By David Ex
23rd Aug 2022 14:28

“Desirable criteria

The ideal candidates will bring expertise or background in one or more of the following:

-customer transformation or service digitization programs

-economics, finance, or tax in an academic or research setting

-experience of tax for groups with protected characteristics or on lower incomes”

Rules out most people!

What on earth is “tax for groups with protected characteristics”??

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Replying to David Ex:
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By Open all hours
23rd Aug 2022 16:06

They’re never going to ask for experience from the real world. Bless their special little selves. I would have had a go but I feel an awful desire to strangle anybody who starts to define ‘protected characteristics’.

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Replying to Open all hours:
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By David Ex
23rd Aug 2022 16:34

Open all hours wrote:

They’re never going to ask for experience from the real world.

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

I note they are not looking for anyone in tax practice. Ie most of us lot.

But happy to take a computer system guy who knows little about tax.

Exactly. Probably explains why no-one can point to any simplification they’ve managed thus far. Still, they’ve only been at it for 12 years so probably naive to expect any tangible outputs so early on.

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Replying to David Ex:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
23rd Aug 2022 16:26

'protected characteristics' will have a definition along the lines of minorities to ensure the system doesn't unfairly penalise you, for (say) religious beliefs. Taxes are supposed to be fair after all. In theory.

I note they are not looking for anyone in tax practice. Ie most of us lot.

But happy to take a computer system guy who knows little about tax.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By David Ex
23rd Aug 2022 16:32

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

'protected characteristics' will have a definition along the lines of minorities to ensure the system doesn't unfairly penalise you, for (say) religious beliefs. Taxes are supposed to be fair after all. In theory.

Predictable in the world we live in. Focus on the small stuff while ignoring MTD for IT, to name but one.

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By Kaylee100
23rd Aug 2022 14:46

My clients always moan about not having enough money - does that count as lower income?

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Replying to Kaylee100:
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By Mr_awol
23rd Aug 2022 15:17

I earned a pittance whilst training. Does that count as experience or knowledge of lower income?

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By Mr_awol
23rd Aug 2022 15:15

I like the way they call it a 'competition' - makes it much more exciting (as if tax isnt exciting enough).

I dont like, so much, the fact that they say it's an open and fair competition process, then go on to say that every disabled applicant is guaranteed an interview. Now i'm not against disabled people, nor am i against ensuring they get a fair crack of the whip - but i am a firm believer in the best person for the job getting that job, regardless of their gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, or any other meaningless attribute that shouldn't be part of the equation. 'Positive discrimination' in all forms should be made illegal IMHO and you can only imagine how much time is wasted across all government interviewing candidates who are clearly not suitable, because of ridiculous initiatives like this.

Unfortunately I've probably just talked myself out of the job, if they read this (let along if they look at my social media like they say they will) so there's no point me applying.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By paul.benny
23rd Aug 2022 16:20

Mr_awol wrote:
'Positive discrimination' in all forms should be made illegal IMHO

I think you'll find that it is already illegal in the UK and has been for many years.

Can you point us to any evidence of the amount of time lost through guaranteed interviews for candidates who are clearly unsuitable?

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By rmillaree
23rd Aug 2022 17:01

It says it all when they want
"economics, finance, or tax in an academic or research setting"

but dont want experience with dealing with personal and business tax in the real world.

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By David Ex
23rd Aug 2022 17:16

rmillaree wrote:

It says it all when they want
"economics, finance, or tax in an academic or research setting"

but dont want experience with dealing with personal and business tax in the real world.

Spot on! The people who know what needs to be simplified are the poor so and sos who have to deal with tax in practice.

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Replying to David Ex:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd Aug 2022 18:01

I believe they see their remit as simplification of the legislation, not its operation.

Whether that's achieved is open to debate (as they only make recommendations).

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By David Ex
23rd Aug 2022 18:15

Hugo Fair wrote:

I believe they see their remit as simplification of the legislation, not its operation.

Whether that's achieved is open to debate (as they only make recommendations).

Ah, didn’t know that. Even more pointless then! The same complex mish mash of provisions - but expressed in a simple way. Good luck with that.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By David Ex
23rd Aug 2022 19:53

Hugo Fair wrote:

I believe they see their remit as simplification of the legislation, not its operation.

And in which case, why are they not wanting lawyers rather than candidates with experience in “economics, finance, or tax in an academic or research setting”?

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Replying to David Ex:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd Aug 2022 22:15

I did simplify their remit slightly (to make a particular point).

A fuller version would have said:
"to provide advice to the Chancellor on simplification of the tax system, where tax system means the law relating to, and the administration of, taxes for which HMRC are responsible".

See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa... if you want the full picture

So they're not drafting replacement legislation but picking out the bits that either with hindsight don't achieve what was intended, or do so in a manner that causes government administrative inefficiencies ... and then recommending changes.

Any resulting agreement to draft new or replacement legislation is left for the usual lawyers to carry out ... and any administrative burden on the taxpayer or agents is only given a priority where this impacts on the efficiency/costs of tax collection.

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By Matrix
23rd Aug 2022 22:35

It is in the top 3 which CIOT have sent to the new PM.

https://www.tax.org.uk/tax-experts-identify-three-strategic-priorities-f...

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