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OTS publishes final recommendations on UK tax reliefs


Tax-free luncheon vouchers and relief on late night taxis are just some of the allowances that may be culled following a report by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).


Others identified for removal include trade union subscriptions, the business premises renovation allowance and tax relief on Yorkshire speciality black beer.


After reviewing the UK tax system, the OTS’s final report recommends that 47 reliefs should be abolished, 17 need to be simplified and 54 should remain unchanged. It has identified a further 37 reliefs which it says should be examined in greater detail.


Those it proposes simplifying include Entrepreneurs’ Relief, principal private residence relief, real estate investment trusts and the enterprise investment scheme.


‘It is clear that many of the reliefs are valuable and clear in their purpose and operation, so we have not sought to change them, but others need simplifying or extending to be properly effective,’ said John Whiting, tax director at the OTS.


‘Some have simply expired and have no further use, a number are poorly targeted leading to negligible value, or their benefit is outweighed by the administrative burden in using them.’


The OTS has also urged the Treasury to carry out a wholesale review of capital gains tax and inheritance tax.


It added that merging national insurance and income tax ‘would deliver major simplification’, although said a review on this matter would be a ‘long-term project’ and ‘beyond the current remit of the OTS’.