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Budget 2015

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) will be established on a statutory basis as a permanent and independent arm of the Treasury, the government has announced.

Documentation of last week’s Budget confirms that OTS will increase its staffing level and take on a wider role, looking further into the implementation of its own ideas to generate clear maps for tax reform, as well as continuing its study of specific areas of the system on a project basis.

First reactions to the chancellor’s second speech of the year

HMRC will receive an extra three quarters of a million pounds to fund their ongoing fight against tax dodging, the chancellor announced this afternoon.

The move to combat non-compliance and criminal activity was welcomed by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), which represents the taxman’s senior staff members. The union’s president, Tony Wallace, claimed the £750m injection “will yield a significant dividend for the country”.

The first wholly Conservative Budget in almost 19 years sparked largely optimistic reactions from tax experts today, with George Osborne’s plans described as “entirely sensible”, “pleasing”, and akin to the work of one of history’s greatest artists.

“The chancellor resembled Michelangelo as he re-sculpted the UK tax system, taxing dividends, proposing changes to pensions, adding a new tax on banks, cutting corporate tax rates, and restricting interest relief on buy-to-let investments,” said EY’s head of tax policy, Chris Sanger.

Government plans to reduce administrative costs to business by £10bn will fail unless the complexity of the tax code is tackled, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has warned.

Two of the UK’s three longest Finance Acts were enacted in the previous parliament, the ICAEW notes in a letter to the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, while calling for a “one in, two out” principle to apply to tax laws.

Changes to tax breaks designed to promote investment in small and growing firms will deter investors from taking advantage, according to the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).

The professional body warned that new legislation creates greater complexity and denies relief to existing financiers that want to increase their investments.

HMRC have published guidance to explain the changes to enterprise investment scheme (EIS) procedures announced in the Budget.

The new measures affect the processing of advance assurance requests and forms EIS1 compliance statements in respect of investments made on or after 6 April 2015. The Revenue will no longer process such requests in respect of companies that:

Pros and cons of the proposed digital accounts for taxpayers

Annuities; expenses; VAT

First reactions to the chancellor’s pre-election tax announcements

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