News story

Office of Tax Simplification announces Paul Morton as new Tax Director

Paul Morton's appointment will "increase the ability of the OTS to build on its achievements in simplifying the tax system".


The government has today announced the appointment of a new Tax Director of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).

Paul Morton will provide expert advice, guidance and direction and bring years of experience to the OTS and its Board as a Non-Executive Member. Paul succeeds John Whiting, who is retiring as OTS Tax Director, a position he has held since the OTS was established in 2010.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison said:

The OTS has a vital role to play in advising the government on ways to simplify the tax system for the businesses and individuals who use it, and Paul’s appointment will help the OTS make real progress in achieving that.

I would like to thank John Whiting for his outstanding contribution to the OTS over the past 6 years and for kindly agreeing to extend his time at the OTS.

OTS Chair, Angela Knight said:

I am delighted to welcome Paul to the OTS. He will bring valuable skills, expertise and experience which will increase the ability of the OTS to build on its achievements in simplifying the tax system and make the most of its new status as a permanent, statutory body.

Paul is a first-class candidate whose expertise covers a broad range of tax issues. The OTS will benefit greatly from his appointment.

I would like to thank John Whiting for his exceptional contribution to the OTS over the past 6 years. Paul will take over as Tax Director knowing that the OTS has been put on the best possible footing for the future because of John’s excellent work.

Paul has announced his retirement as Head of Group Tax at RELX Group plc, and will leave when a successor is appointed. John Whiting will remain at the OTS to handover to Paul. Paul will attend the OTS Board from 1 January.

Further information

The OTS was established in 2010 to provide advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system and was made a permanent, independent office of HM Treasury in July 2015. It is being put on a statutory footing in the Finance Act 2016.

Paul Morton joins the OTS with a wealth of experience:

  • Paul is retiring as Head of Group Tax at RELX Group plc, a multinational information and analytics company based in London
  • he is Vice Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce Tax Commission and Deputy Chairman of the British Branch of the International Fiscal Association having previously held the position of Chairman
  • he is also a member of the CBI Tax Committee, 100 Group Tax Committee, Council of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Tax Law Review Committee and Business & Industry Advisory Committee to OECD, as well as HMRC’s Business Tax Forum and HMRC’s Large Corporates Forum
  • he has previously held positions at Royal Dutch Shell, KPMG and the Inland Revenue and has been a council member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), the founder and Chairman of the CIOT European Branch and President of the Confédération Fiscale Européenne which represents all tax professional bodies in Europe

To date, the government has implemented almost 200 OTS recommendations which have simplified the tax system.

Implementing these recommendations has significantly reduced complexity. For example, simplifying employee benefits and expenses has saved employers an estimated £20 million per year in administrative costs.

The OTS also recommended the introduction of the cash basis accounting for tax so that self-employed individuals no longer need to understand complex tax rules that were designed for larger companies. 1 million self-employed individuals took up the cash basis in the first year alone.

Published 7 November 2016