Closed consultation

OTS business lifecycle review call for evidence and survey

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The OTS has published an online survey and a call for evidence to seek views on tax as it impacts on business

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Consultation description

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has today published a call for evidence and an online survey to seek views about tax as it impacts on businesses.

To take the online survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes, please click here.

In this review, the OTS is interested in the everyday experience of business owners and managers as they engage with tax throughout the lifecycle, from start-up and registration, through calculating and paying tax, to business closure/transfer.

The review will focus mainly on smaller businesses, including self-employed individuals. It follows an earlier business lifecycle report on areas such as raising capital and disposing of a business.

Small and medium sized businesses play a key role in the UK economy. In 2017-18 they employed 16 million people and paid £155bn in tax (25% of all tax paid). The inherent complexity and challenges faced by smaller businesses in their everyday affairs means that some find tax and other regulatory requirements difficult to manage, and the review aims to identify ways to make tax simpler, fairer and better for those businesses.

The OTS wants to hear directly from businesses as well as professional advisers and representative bodies about which parts of the tax system are particularly complex and hard to get right, and to hear any suggestions for improvements.

Responses to the call for evidence can be sent to

The deadline for responses is 7 December 2018.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the OTS to carry out a review of the business lifecycle to identify simplification opportunities. The scoping document for the review was published on 26 July 2018.

The OTS expects to publish its report in the spring of 2019.

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.

Press Enquiries only please contact Graham Dickson, OTS Press Officer Phone: 03000 585028


Published 10 October 2018