After a career in private practice, I’ve just joined the Office of Tax Simplification, as a part-time policy adviser.
The OTS is an independent part of the Treasury. I work in a building I’ve often visited – and now have the opportunity to get lost in. The Horse Guards Road/Parliament Street building was one of Gordon Brown’s PFI projects, which broadly coincided with bringing together Treasury and HMRC policy specialists. It resonates with history – but modernity too, as atriums and water features have been added, hot-desking is common and the technology looks just like any up-to-date private business. The OTS conducts a mixture of its own reviews and reviews requested by the Chancellor. Details of current and closed reviews are online and the annual report will be published shortly. I’m now part of teams conducting two reviews.
I’ve also just been appointed by the HMRC Commissioners to the Advisory Panel for the UK General Anti-Abuse rule. The Panel is required to offer one or more opinions on arrangements before HMRC is permitted to counteract them by applying the GAAR. The initial permanent panel didn’t see any cases in its first two years, so panel members were offered extended terms. It’s now the time for three panel members to retire from duties – and three new members commenced their three-years terms from 1 June. Details of the Panel’s membership and opinions are online.