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OTS calls for “detailed review” of business tax

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has called for a “detailed review” of the ways in which the UK’s tax system affects businesses, amid concerns that urgent simplification is required in order to stimulate growth.

In recent days, the Government body has published a report assessing the nature of existing tax reliefs and charges, their effectiveness and how they interact with one another, the FT Adviser reports.

Upon assessing how the UK’s tax framework affects firms throughout all key stages of the business life cycle, the OTS has concluded that an urgent overhaul is needed in order to reduce complexity and improve access to tax reliefs and incentives for businesses.

In particular, the OTS is seeking views on Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Inheritance Tax (IHT) and Entrepreneur’s Relief (ER).

However, it is also interested in gaining opinions on how the operation of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) schemes might be simplified or improved.

Angela Knight, Chair of the OTS, said: “This is a time when the need to encourage innovation, support growing businesses, the economy and employment in the UK, is a priority.

“It has never been so important that the business tax system is fit for this purpose and supports these aims.”

Paul Morton, Tax Director at the OTS, added: “This paper takes a significant first step towards meeting the pressing need to undertake a detailed review of the tax system as it operates across the business life cycle.

“It is aimed at helping the businesses that are the lifeblood of the UK economy to maximise their opportunities and to make the system clear and simple to understand and use.”