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Review identifies over 1,000 tax reliefs

 

Experts have identified more than 1,000 reliefs in the UK’s tax system, prompting warnings that the Chancellor may scrap ‘dozens or even hundreds’ of tax breaks.

 

Following a review of Britain’s taxes, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published details of the 1,042 reliefs that are currently available.

 

The OTS is now considering which reliefs can be streamlined or abolished as part of its bid to improve and simplify the tax system. The OTS will submit its recommendations to the Chancellor ahead of next year’s March Budget.

 

The Chancellor has already announced that the tax relief on pension contributions will be restricted, saving the Government more than £4 billion over the next few years.

 

Commenting on the findings, John Whiting, Tax Director for the OTS said: ‘I am sure some people will be surprised by the sheer number of reliefs in today’s tax system. Many have a clear and highly valued benefit so clearly we would not seek to change those.

 

‘Others, however, may simply no longer be used, or are too complex and burdensome to be properly effective, so it is these that I want my team to focus on.’

 

Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: ‘This is exactly why we established the Office of Tax Simplification earlier this year to look at ways in which we can simplify the tax system for all taxpayers.’

 

More information on the review, including a full list of tax reliefs, is available on the Treasury website: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ots_taxreliefsreview.htm.