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Split Personality

I am indebted to Taxation magazine following a case of what modesty prevents me claiming as 'great minds' thinking alike.

We've all been imagining what could happen in due course when the Office of Tax Simplification presents its first report.....

Instead of getting into my own Tardis, I will simply report on extracts of the outcome that Taxation have anticiapted

Tax News: 10 October 2010

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) today issued its first report, on the simplification of small business taxation.

The OTS tax director John Whiting said that the timetable for producing the report had been tight but he thought they had done a good job.

The reaction from professional bodies was, however, mixed. The Chartered Institute of Taxation had some serious concerns.

‘This report shows a worrying lack of consistency,’ complained CIOT policy director John Whiting.

'I am saddened that the OTS Tax Director did not feel able to resist this pressure from the Treasury side.’

However, for the OTS, Whiting rejected the accusations.

‘Anyone who believes that I have been influenced unduly by Treasury ministers does not know me very well. If the CIOT’s policy director wants to discuss this with me, he knows where to find me.’

Meanwhile, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group complained that the OTS was concentrating on the wrong problem.

They said that small businesses had advisers to help them find their way through the tax system, whereas many pensioners and other people on low incomes were struggling to understand complex tax calculations on their own.

‘The OTS needs to concentrate on the areas which really affect people,’ said LITRG spokesperson John Whiting. ‘That means simplifying the rules for those on lower incomes, including the rules for tax credits.’

Asked to respond to this attack, the OTS tax director became uncharacteristically irritated.

‘Look, everyone thinks this job is easy. If that LITRG spokesperson or the CIOT policy director think they could do it they’re welcome to try.’

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