ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

New Office of Tax Simplification welcomed

ACCA has welcomed the establishment of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), which will provide much-needed respite for the UK's financially challenged small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

'We applaud the Treasury's decision to establish the OTS,' said Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA head of tax. 'But to make this initiative truly of benefit to businesses of all sizes, it is vital that the work of the OTS remains politically independent and that its recommendations do not fall by the wayside as the coalition government shifts its focus to other areas of the UK economic recovery.'

ACCA has long advocated the need for governments around the world to invest as much effort in supporting SMEs as they do larger listed companies. Referring to SMEs as 'the lifeblood of the UK economy', Roy-Chowdhury calls on the government to consider SMEs right from the start when designing taxation policies for business.

'Currently, the government has a top-down approach for business tax, but instead it should think small first,' he said. 'It needs to create a foundation of principles that can apply to all businesses - based on the needs of the smallest - with additional layers added for larger, more complex companies.

'We have been calling for greater simplification and transparency in the UK tax system for many years, and we are delighted the Treasury has recognised the need to streamline the system though the establishment of the OTS. We hope this commitment continues.'