Press Release - Pensioner tax simplification report welcomed by age-old campaigners

Published on 6 March 2012

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has welcomed the Office of Tax Simplification’s (OTS) interim report on pensioner taxation and looks forward to supporting the OTS’s ongoing quest for improvements

Since its earliest days, LITRG has been concerned by the complexities of the tax system faced by pensioners and how those on fixed and often very low incomes navigate their way through it.

The group’s first report in 1998 outlined the case for a friendlier tax system for pensioners[1]. This was followed up by further reports in 1999[2] and 2007[3], in between which LITRG piloted ‘Tax Help for Older People’[4], an advice service subsequently established as a separate charity and which continues today to support many thousands of low-income pensioners.

LITRG’s Technical Director, Robin Williamson, said of the report:

“The OTS has done a comprehensive job in explaining the complexities pensioners face in navigating the tax system. The problems have been brought into even sharper focus since the autumn of 2010 when HMRC began to use their improved database to reconcile individuals’ PAYE tax records, many pensioners having received shock tax bills as a result.

“With other changes in progress – for instance, increases in the state pension age and the forthcoming move to collection of PAYE ‘real-time information’ for employees and pensioners - now is an excellent time to be addressing the issues. It is right, however, that the OTS’s interim report does not yet make firm recommendations on the knotty problems of age-related allowances and other pensioner issues, as the impact of change needs careful consideration.

“LITRG is pleased to have supported this review with the part time secondment of one of its Technical Officers, Kelly Sizer, to the OTS team. Kelly played a lead role in authoring the report and we hope that her hard work will be built upon as the OTS progresses to the second stage of its review, attempting to develop recommendations for change.”


Contact: Robin Williamson (please use form at

[1] See ‘Older people on low incomes - Case for a friendlier tax system’

[2] See ‘Older people on low incomes - The Taxman's Response’

[3] See ‘Older people on low incomes -The case for tax reform’

[4] See