The Office for Tax Simplification to be abolished

Jun 22, 2023 | Tax

This QANGO (as nobody now calls such institutions) was set up to suggest improvements, supposedly simplifications, to our labyrinthine, or, as the Treasury Committee ironically describe it,  ‘overcomplicated and burdensome’ tax system. It was set up by the unlamented George Osborne, and has made many useful suggestions in the last 10 years or so. In his 2011 Budget, the ‘Chancellor accepted some of its recommendations’. But that’s the only vague success that I can find in its brief history of, doubtless, many hundreds of meetings. The problem continues to be that any ‘simplification’ in new tax rules leaves all sorts of complications in its wake, as stuff that happened before is still subject to old rules. We see this time and again with pensions, but it’s true of so much other stuff too. Simplifying anything leaves casualties and casualties are not good politics. So it’s ‘plus ça change…’

Read more here

Inheritance Tax is in need of reform

Inheritance Tax is in need of reform

Yes, Inheritance Tax is in need of reform, but then so is most of our ridiculously complex tax system. We tend to assume that ‘Death Duties’ are a relatively new, socialist tax intended to stop the landed gentry passing on their stately homes and estates and perpetuating their advantages.