Scrutton Bland engages with the Office of Tax Simplification

14 January 2021 - Elizabeth Nichols

Scrutton Bland were delighted to host the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) on 12 January, enabling a group of their own clients to discuss and provide direct feedback on the latest Capital Gains Tax review. The first part of the OTS report was published last November, with the second part due for publication this Spring.

The OTS is the national adviser to government on simplifying the UK tax system. They operate independently, undertaking formal reviews, as agreed with the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, as well as working on their own initiative, covering some of the many tax issues brought to their attention. Their aim is to “recommend ways of making taxpayers’ and others’ experience as simple as possible”.

The digital event on 12 January was initiated by Scrutton Bland, and was attended by Bill Dodwell, Tax Director of the OTS and Mark Pickard, Senior Policy Adviser of the OTS, together with Jason Fayers, Managing Partner of Scrutton Bland and Gavin Birchall, Tax Partner at Scrutton Bland. A number of Scrutton Bland’s clients from sectors including manufacturing, construction, agriculture and property and estate management were also asked to participate, giving their perspectives on the changes proposed by the OTS and commenting on the current tax legislation in this area.

Jason Fayers, Managing Partner at Scrutton Bland was very pleased with the response to the event: “We are always keen to make the process of giving tax advice to our clients as simple and straightforward as possible. Engaging with the OTS in this event has given both us and our clients a means of expressing our various views to them – whatever they may be. Tax legislation is constantly changing and understanding how and why the latest changes have been made is enormously valuable. We are very grateful to the OTS for taking the time to explain their latest report, and to listen to our views.”

Bill Dodwell, Tax Director of the OTS commented: “The OTS recognises the importance and value of engaging with tax advisers and business owners, and we were very pleased to be invited to take part in this event with Scrutton Bland and their clients, to talk through the report, as well as discussing other related tax matters. One of our key objectives is to engage directly with taxpayers, both to cover our reports and explain what we do, but especially to listen to issues directly raised by taxpayers.”

The OTS report on Capital Gains Tax was commissioned by Rishi Sunak, and recommends several simplifications to smooth out distortions, improve administrative efficiency and make this tax easier to understand and predict for taxpayers. Following publication of the second part of the OTS report the government is expected to respond in due course.

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