The Office for Tax Simplification has published a new list of tax issues for review. They include:
• Increasing the present £8,500 limit, below which employees (not directors) do not suffer benefit in kind charges. This limit was introduced in 1979 and was apparently based on the amount at which a married man started to pay higher rate tax. An inflation adjusted figure now would be close to £40,000. It’s unlikely HMRC would seek to increase the present limit to this level!
• Payrolling certain benefits so that tax is paid as the benefits are provided rather than at the end of the tax year.
• Changes to the cycle to work scheme.
There are also a number of suggestions to smooth the differences between the tax and National Insurance treatment of certain benefits.
OTS director John Whiting says:
“It is clear the current system for reporting expenses and benefits is simply not working well for employers or employees and also, in many cases, HMRC.
Time and again, through our workshops and in submissions, people have told us the rules around travel and subsistence, accommodation or HMRC admin, are causing them problems and costing them time.”
The Treasury will now have to consider whether the OTS proposals are worthy of serious consideration and new legislation.