Office of Tax Simplification small business review calls for action

May 27, 2019

The Office of Tax Simplification’s (OTS) latest report “Simplifying everyday tax for smaller businesses” calls on the government to prioritise action to address long-standing concerns about the experience of smaller businesses. The NI Tax Committee met with senior members of the OTS in December 2018 to discuss this review and other work streams of the OTS. Engagement with the OTS will continue later in 2019.

Small businesses are a major part of the UK economy and comprise over 99 percent of the 5.7 million businesses in the UK employing 12.9 million people and paying over £205 billion in tax.

This report explores for the first time the tax challenges faced by businesses by reference to the stages a developing small business might go through in its engagement with the tax system. According to the OTS, what has emerged are several long-standing concerns which now, as the economy and the world of work continue to evolve, it is especially important that the government prioritises.

The report contains major recommendations in five areas and other smaller suggestions for improving HMRC processes and is a follow on from an earlier review which addressed tax charges and reliefs applicable at key stages during the life of a business.