Press release

Initial simplification ideas for small businesses tax unveiled

An interim report looking at small business taxation has been published today by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


An interim report looking at small business taxation has been published today by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).

Merging Income Tax and National Insurance, the future of IR35, HMRC’s procedures and a simpler regime for the smallest businesses are all addressed in the initial recommendations. The report, analyses a range of elements of small business taxation, identifying problems and suggesting ways forward.

The provisional recommendations, which are made with a view of simplifying administrative burdens on small business, aims to come up with sensible proposals to issues the OTS sees as barriers to small businesses in the UK.

John Whiting, Tax Director for the Office of Tax Simplification said:

Our aim is develop practical ideas that will make things easier for small businesses when it comes to their tax responsibilities.

Having listened to the concerns raised through our roadshow events and many representations, we hope we’ve identified the main problem areas and that people will agree these initial recommendations will improve matters. We’ve suggested ways forward on the thorny issue of IR35, though it’s clear there is no easy solution there.

We want to stimulate more debate on our findings, so whether you agree with us or not, we are keen to hear your views to help us develop our final report to the Chancellor later in the year.

The OTS will now await the Chancellor’s views on the report and any further instructions on what areas of work to be taken forward after the Budget.

Notes to Editors

  1. The interim report announced today setting out the recommendations for the small business tax review can be found on the OTS website here: The OTS expects the Chancellor to respond to the report at or shortly after the Budget, setting out which areas he wants us to explore in more detail, and setting a deadline for our final report.

  2. The independent Office of Tax Simplification was established on 20 July 2010 to carry out reviews in order to provide expert advice to the Chancellor on options to improve and simplify the UK’s tax system.

  3. The OTS started its work in September. It initially took forward two reviews: simplifying tax reliefs and small business taxation. It has now reported on both these reports and is awaiting the Chancellor’s response at Budget 2011.

  4. The OTS team is led by Chairman Rt Hon Michael Jack, and Tax Director John Whiting and has a staff of 7, drawn from HM Treasury, HM Revenue & Customs and secondees from a broad range of private firms. Details and biographies are available on the OTS website.

  5. In addition, two ‘Consultative Committees’ have been set up to work with the team to review suggestions and feed in views.  Details are available on the OTS website.

  6. The OTS can be contacted at:

Issued by Office of Tax Simplification Press Office

Press enquiries only please contact:
Andrew Bennett
OTS Press Officer 
Phone: 020 7270 6190 / 07917 598392

Published 10 March 2011