Press release

Office of Tax Simplification announces expert team for tax reviews

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

Office of Tax Simplification announces expert team for tax reviews.

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has recruited its first four private sector tax experts, and is making good progress on its first two reviews into simplifying the tax system, it announced today.

The team, seconded from a variety of tax and accountancy firms, brings together a wealth of private and public sector experience and expertise to provide independent advice on simplifying Britain’s tax system.

As announced in the summer, the OTS is carrying out two initial reviews: a review of all tax reliefs, allowances and exemptions, and a review of small business taxation.

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

I am delighted to have such an experienced team with their wide range of tax backgrounds in place, and I am very grateful to the firms that have released them.

We are now getting going on our challenging task of helping to simplify Britain’s tax system.

The OTS also announced today that they will publish a full list of HMRC’s tax reliefs in early November, together with the proposed review criteria, which it anticipates will attract analysis and comment from a range of tax system users. The first report on tax reliefs will be published shortly after.

Meanwhile, work on the small business tax simplification review is also underway with an interim report due by Budget 2011. Following successful meetings with industry groups and tax experts, a nationwide series of Roadshows are set for November. The OTS team will be on the road seeking views and ideas on where exactly the tax system is most complex for small businesses and causing administrative burdens.

Notes to editors

  1. 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.

  2. The OTS started its work in September. It will initially take forward two reviews: simplifying tax reliefs and small business taxation. It will report to the Chancellor in advance of Budget 2011.

  3. The OTS team will consist of 7 industry experts from a broad range of respected and recognised firms. Joining the Chairman Rt Hon Michael Jack, and Tax Director John Whiting, at the OTS, are:

    • Jeremy Sherwood, Head of OTS Secretariat, HM Treasury
    • Thomas Byng, Senior Manager, Deloitte LLP*
    • Kate Cottrell, Director, Bauer & Cottrell ltd*
    • Anish Mehta, Policy Advisor, HM Treasury
    • Tunde Ojetola, Policy Advisor, HM Revenue & Customs
    • Partha Ray, Senior Tax Manager, BDO LLP*
    • Caroline Turnbull-Hall, Senior Manager, PwC LLP*

      *= private sector secondee for varying terms - biographies available on the OTS website

  4. The List of Reliefs will be published on the OTS website in early November

  5. OTS is planning consultation events which will take place in November in locations around the country including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Issued by Office of Tax Simplification Press Office
Press enquiries only please contact: Andrew Bennett
OTS Press Officer 
Phone:  020 7147 0051
Website:  http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ots.htm