The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has argued that The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) should have a “greater role” in scrutiny of new tax proposals.
The new role could include the development of a formal simplification framework against which the OTS can measure government proposals, and score its own recommendations.
In response, the institute said it wants the government to consider “formally embedding” a role for the OTS in the five stage tax policy development process.
The institution has also called for the government to formally respond to all OTS reviews and recommendations within a prescribed period, indicating in detail which recommendations will be taken forward.
Furthermore, the group would like to see an expanded OTS role which includes post-enactment review of new legislation perhaps two to three years after implementation.
John Barnett, chair of the CIOT’s tax policy and oversight committee, said: “The OTS has done a lot of good work since it was launched 11 years ago.
“We see the work of a strengthened OTS fitting into three areas going forward: scrutiny of new tax measures, periodic revisiting of its earlier recommendations, and a continuation of the existing cycle of reviews of policy areas.”
He added: “OTS needs direct access to ministers to put its case (as we recommend), but ministers also need to recognise that tax simplification is not something they can delegate to the OTS – it requires their engagement and they need to be willing to amend or drop otherwise attractive proposals if the complexity cost is too high.”