The Office of Tax Simplification is currently reviewing the tax reliefs system. They have now reported that there are 1042 tax reliefs in existence within the UK taxation system. The full list has now been published on their website as a precursor to a consultation which will see the OTS invite comments and opinions from the users of these reliefs.

The OTS, which includes tax experts from many of Britain’s most prominent accountancy firms, has been transparent in their methodology, informing readers of their website exactly how they plan to assess the effectiveness of each of these tax reliefs individually. The reliefs which are under examination are diverse and far-reaching. These include the exemption of income tax deductions from approved mileage payments, incidental expenses and overnight subsistence claims, the exemption of income tax and NICs from breakfasts claimed for on designated cycle to work days and the claiming of a deduction for any necessary expense incurred while performing work duties.

Office of Tax Simplification’s Tax Director, John Whiting commented: “I am sure some people will be surprised by the sheer number of reliefs in today’s tax system. Many have a clear and highly valued benefit so clearly we would not seek to change those. Others, however, may simply no longer be used, or are too complex and burdensome to be properly effective, so it is these that I want my team to focus on.”

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