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Today, 27 April 2018, the independent Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published a call for evidence and an on-line survey to gather information about people’s experience and perceptions of Inheritance Tax. Tax rates are, of course, for government, but the aspect that the OTS is interested in is the ease or complexity of the legislative rules and the processes that have to be followed.
The OTS welcomes the views of all those with an interest, including individuals with personal experience of having to go through the process of establishing, when a relative has died or as the executor of a will, whether there is a liability for Inheritance Tax.
The OTS wants to hear from individuals as well as professional advisers and representative bodies. To that end, the on-line survey is the first that the OTS has issued to the public generally, to help ensure its analysis is as fully informed as possible.
Paul Morton, OTS Tax Director, said:
This call for evidence and survey will help inform our research into Inheritance Tax and the recommendations we make in our final report. We know that there is a great deal to consider and we want to explore this with the help of individual taxpayers, as well as professional advisers and representative groups.
In a nutshell, while tax rates are for government, the role of the OTS is to challenge tax complexity and so help all users of the tax system, and so we hope to hear from as many individuals as possible. We are keen to hear both from those who have had some experience of dealing with Inheritance Tax and those who are concerned about it, but who may be unfamiliar with it.
The deadline for responses to both the call for evidence and the on-line survey is 8 June 2018.
To take the on-line survey, which should take about 10 minutes, please click here.
Responses to the call for evidence can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury requested that the OTS carry out a review of a range of aspects of Inheritance Tax and how it functions today to identify simplification opportunities. The scoping document for the review was published on 15 February 2018.
The review is considering the existing legislative framework, and the administrative processes through which taxpayers interact with HMRC in relation to Inheritance Tax.
The OTS expect to publish their report in the Autumn of 2018.
Notes for editors
The OTS is the independent adviser to government on tax simplification, challenging tax complexity to help all users of the tax system; it does not implement changes - these are a matter for government and for Parliament.
The OTS team is led by Chairman Angela Knight CBE and Tax Director Paul Morton and has a small staff drawn from HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs and the private sector.
The OTS works to improve the experience of all who interact with the tax system. It aims to reduce the administrative burden - which is what people encounter in practice - as well as simplifying the rules. Simplification of the technical and administrative aspects of tax are each important, both to taxpayers and HMRC.