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29 September 2011

Permanent Chair and Tax Director appointed to Office of Tax Simplification

The Treasury has today announced that Rt Hon Michael Jack and John Whiting have been appointed as the permanent Chair and Tax Director respectively of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).  

They will oversee the work of the OTS for the remainder of this Parliament, building on the progress they have made since taking up their interim positions when the OTS was established in July last year.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said:

“The Government believes that taxes should be simple to understand and easy to comply with. 

The work of the OTS is central to achieving this aim and I am pleased that the Office will be strengthened with the permanent appointments of Michael Jack and John Whiting.”

Rt Hon Michael Jack said:

“In its first year, the Office of Tax Simplification showed that it was possible to recommend ways in which the tax system could be simplified.  

I am delighted that my reappointment as Chair of the OTS Board will enable me to further contribute to this work, as we take forward our agenda in the areas of employee share schemes, pensioner taxation and tackling the sources of complexity itself."

John Whiting said:

“Perhaps the OTS’s most important achievements have been to establish our way of working and show we can make a difference.

We have benefited from a lot of engagement from a wide variety of organisations and people, including Ministers.

I’m delighted to have been reappointed to the Tax Director role to help build on our great start and drive forward our projects. There is a lot to do!”

Notes for Editors

1. Michael Jack and John Whiting were appointed following a process of fair and open competition over the summer. 

2. The Chair’s role is to lead OTS board meetings and the Office’s engagement with Treasury Ministers.  The Tax Director provides the technical and professional leadership and guidance for the Office.  

Both positions are on a voluntary basis with expenses paid.  However, an honorarium of £12,000 per annum will be paid to the Tax Director in recognition of his contribution to Government policy making.

3. The Government launched the independent OTS in July 2010 to provide independent advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the tax system.  More information can be found on the OTS section of our website.

4. The objective of the OTS is to identify ways to simplify the tax system and reduce administrative burdens on businesses and individual taxpayers.  The Office carries out independent reviews of the tax system and submits proposals for simplification to the Chancellor.

5. The OTS has so far published recommendations on simplifying tax reliefs, the avoidance legislation IR35 and an interim report on small business tax. 

Over the course of 2011/12 the OTS is completing its review of small business tax and beginning two new reviews into the taxation of employee schemes and the taxation of pensioners. 

More on these, and how those interested can get involved with the reviews, can be found on the OTS section of our website.

6. OTS recommendations have already led to the abolition of 43 tax reliefs, steps to make clear improvements to the administration of IR35 and the Government consultation on integrating the operation of Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions.

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