The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) was established in July 2010, to provide advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system. The OTS has recently published a new report titled ‘Making better use of third-party data: a vision for the future’. The report sets out proposals for making better use of data held by third parties, such as reporting interest on savings and investments from banks directly to HMRC.
Commenting on the report, the OTS Tax Director said:
‘The report considers the kinds of tax data individuals could find it helpful for third parties to automatically transfer to HMRC, and how this might best be embedded into the next stage of its work on the Single Customer Account.’
The report encourages the government to explore further and take forward this agenda, and to:
- ensure that data reported to HMRC by third parties is visible to taxpayers and their agents through the forthcoming Single Customer Account, and used to update tax codes and support the completion of individuals’ tax returns
- set out a clear roadmap of the stages through which changes would be consulted on and made
- consider the most effective choice of unique identifier to enable third party data to be readily and accurately matched with HMRC’s taxpayer records
- consult widely on the balance of responsibilities as between data providers, software providers, agents, taxpayers and HMRC
- ensure that HMRC have the necessary funding.