On Tuesday 11th February 2014, four students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), accompanied by course lecturer David Massey, visited HM Treasury on a programme organised by the OTS. The purpose of the visit was to reward these students – Dominic, Calum, Usamah and Henna – for their hard work on a project undertaken in November last year.
The project involved a class of third year undergraduate accountancy students working in groups to prepare a poster presentation about an issue relevant to the OTS’s employee benefits and expenses review. Dominic and Callum worked together to prepare a poster presentation about calculating the value of living accommodation, using examples to point out current problems, such as the difficulty in finding out the Gross Rateable Value. Usamah and Henna worked together to prepare a poster presentation about reliefs for uniform and travel expenses, drawing on their personal experiences of working part-time in care homes.
During the visit, the students met David Gauke MP, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, and John Whiting, Tax Director of the OTS. This included an opportunity for the students to ask both David and John questions about UK taxation, and for both David and John to ask the students for their thoughts. The Minister presented the students with prizes which acknowledged the quality of their projects. Additionally, throughout the day the students spoke with civil servants working at the OTS and the Treasury’s personal tax team.
We hope the visit provided a useful insight into tax policy making, and wish the students all the best for their upcoming exams and future careers.