The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published the report ‘Guidance for taxpayers: a vision for the future’. The OTS is the independent adviser to the UK government on tax simplification, challenging tax complexity to help all users of the tax system by reducing the administrative burden as well as simplifying the rules. It does not implement changes, which are a matter for government and for Parliament.

A new model

The review offers a strategic review of the general approach to providing guidance for taxpayers and their advisers. It notes that, although recommendations on guidance have always been a significant feature on particular areas of the tax system, this is the first time the OTS has devoted a whole report to the subject, exploring the purposes of guidance and the ways it can best be delivered in the future, taking advantage of changes in technology. The strategic vision suggests a ‘New Model’ for guidance, and considers that in the future, most taxpayers will not need to use any obvious form of formal guidance to comply with their tax obligations –rather, they will rely on a variety of simple, intuitive resources, as they normally do when using their IT devices.

The report calls for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to make transforming the user experience a sustained priority, supported by a renewed collaboration across the tax community, with a view to making it easier for people to find the guidance they need and to be clearer about the reliance they can place on it. Improved guidance, the report notes, plays a vital role in enhancing compliance and reducing costs: it leads to greater certainty for taxpayers and reduces enquiries for the tax administrator, likely leading to more accurate tax reporting and a narrower tax gap.

(Source: | Read the report)

From the blog:
Topics – Complexity
Topics – Tax administration

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