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Pensioner tax review leads to HMRC changes for the better

Following the publication of the interim report on the review of pensioner taxation published by the Office of Tax Simplification…

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Following the publication of the interim report on the review of pensioner taxation published by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) earlier in the year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has implemented a number of improvements to make things easier for pensioners.

The independent OTS is currently finalising the second stage of its review of pensioner taxation and is due to report simplification recommendations in January. The interim report looked at identifying the areas of the tax system that cause older taxpayers the most concern and HMRC has now set out a number of improvements already underway as a direct result of the OTS’s work.

HMRC changes include a new electronic data link with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide more accurate data on pensions. This means HMRC is able to update records more quickly, so that more pensioners are taxed correctly on state pensions. In addition, further work is ongoing to improve the process when someone suffers bereavement, and administrative forms for Married Couple’s Allowance are also being simplified following OTS input. More details of this and other improvements are available here: taxation of pensioner review

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

“It’s encouraging to see HMRC is taking steps to improve things for pensioners as a direct result of our work.  Whilst this is certainly a step in the right direction, we hope HMRC, and indeed the Chancellor, will build on this start when our final report is published early next year. 

“The OTS, the Government and HMRC all share a common objective here: getting to a simpler tax system for pensioners in the future.”

The OTS has gathered extensive evidence from pensioners, advisers, and representative bodies and has had considerable input from its consultative committee throughout its pensioner project. We continue to welcome views on our work from anybody with an interest in the areas under study. 

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 team is led by Chairman Rt Hon Michael Jack, and Tax Director John Whiting and has a staff drawn from HM Treasury, HM Revenue & Customs and secondees from the private sector.Details and biographies are available on the OTS website.
  3. The OTS interim report on Pensioner taxation was published on 6 March 2012 and can be found - along with HMRC’s response - here: taxation of pensioner review
  4. Recommendations will be set out in a final report on pensioner taxation which is expected to be published in January 2013. 5. Thoughts and comments on the OTS pensioner review can be sent to:

Issued by Office of Tax Simplification Press Office

Press enquiries only please contact:

Press Officer: Andrew Bennett 
Phone: 020 7147 0052 / 07917 598392

Published 23 November 2012