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Office of Tax Simplification Income Tax/NICs closer alignment project
It has been the OTS’s practice on our previous projects to form small, informal Consultative Committees (CCs), comprising up to 10 members. The role of the CC is to assist us with the direction of the project concerned: to suggest avenues for exploration (including people/groups to meet), to critique our plans, provide practical insights, to debate our findings and in due course to review our ideas and recommendations. This helps us achieve our aim of producing reports that are evidence-based, balanced and credible. Consultative Committee members are unpaid and input to the OTS project through occasional meetings as well as by correspondence.
Members of the Consultative Committee
The members are:
- Belinda Johnson
- Colin Ben-Nathan
- Paul Tucker
- Robin Williamson
- Stephen Herring
- Stephen Relf
- Stuart Adam
- A representative from each of HM Treasury and HMRC attend CC meetings.
Meeting of the CC
The CC had an initial meeting on Wednesday 7 October. The main topics discussed were:
- Terms of Reference for the project
- Problems in practice: where do CC members see difficulties
- The OTS’s key questions: CC members reviewed and commented on a draft set of questions that the OTS will be using to guide discussions at its meetings
- Project plan, including timings
- Groups and bodies the OTS plans to visit: OTS tabled an initial list and CC members added further suggestions.
The Committee had a further meeting Wednesday 8 December to consider the emerging themes from the review. The main topics discussed were:
- The extent to which NICs are understood
- The alignment of NICs with income tax – common areas and exceptions
- The legislative and guidance framework
- The case to operate NICs on an annual basis
- The employers’ contribution
- The distinctions between employed and self-employed
- Issues and concerns with the administration of NICs