Your chance to simplify the tax system
Would you be interested in helping to reform the UK’s ailing tax system?
As part of its expanded remit, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) is looking to recruit up to four tax professionals with current or recent private sector experience to work on its corporate tax review.
It’s more than likely that someone among the hundreds of AccountingWEB members who have bemoaned the state of the tax system over the years would be able to fit the OTS’s requirements.
While hesitating to call the OTS a quango, it was set up as an independent body, but is shown on the Gov.com website as “part of HM Treasury”. The organisation is chaired by former Conservative minister Angela Knight and would involve working with OTS tax policy director John Whiting.
The roles on offer appear to be quite flexible, with positions available as secondments, employee loans or fixed term appointments for either 6 months or a year. They can be either full-time or part-time, with the possibility of working from home.
But don’t assume it’ll be a cosy little desk research job. The note explains that the advisers will be expected to attend meetings around the country with interested parties, businesses of all sizes, tax professionals, charities, HMRC staff, academics and representative bodies. They will also need to drop into OTS HQ at least once a week.
At Budget time last month, Treasury minister David Gauke published a note detailing which of the OTS measures the government had decided to implement from its small business review, and setting out the agenda for the simplification body’s involvement in developing the business tax road map.
The letter highlighted a number of strands that will interest AccountingWEB members:
A new sole enterprise protected assets (SEPA) structure that would give sole traders a certain amount of liability protection as a lower maintenance alternative to incorporating a company
Develop a “lookthrough” taxation mechanism that could be applied to some small companies, for example by taxing proprietors directly on their income and ignoring the company. Like many AccountingWEB members, the OTS concluded that lookthrough wouldn’t work generally for small companies, but it might offer a simpler route for some. “The challenge is to define them and test whether it would be simpler,” Whiting told AccountingWEB.
The OTS is also starting work on a new review of ways to simplify the corporation tax computation for all companies.
So if you’re one of those people who has vented your spleen about the idiocies of the tax system in the past, here’s your chance to actually do something about it.
With a hint of wry exasperation, Whiting lamented about how the OTS is always being attacked for not understanding the real world - a somewhat curious stance, he added, “given the people we hire and their backgrounds”.
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AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.