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Comment on the findings of the Office of Tax Simplification

Commenting on the release of the initial findings of the Office of Tax Simplification, Market Development Manager Neil Jones said:

“We welcome this initial report and its recommendations – it is clear that the administration of inheritance tax needs to be simplified and streamlined, and this is something that those connected with inheritance tax have been aware of for a long time. HMRC has already started an initiative to make tax digital and this is clearly needed in the case of inheritance tax. 

“A clear concern is the work around trusts. We welcome the recommendation that HMRC should review the requirement for trustees to submit forms when no Inheritance Tax is due, and no reliefs or exemptions are claimed. However, any digital reporting needs to be carefully considered to avoid what could be considered to be a pseudo trust register, which chips away at the confidentiality of tax returns. 

“The OTS has also commented on the lack of any increase in the various exemptions that were introduced with the original inheritance tax legislation – these have been stagnant for too long and becoming increasingly irrelevant. 

“The Government needs to take a more holistic view of the overall regulations and consider a deeper, root and branch, review to look at some of the areas of inheritance tax. The tax system has evolved piecemeal rather than as a single thought-through design and today the report has unveiled some similarly piecemeal changes.”

You can read our full statement here.