TaxPersonal TaxGovernment fails to back Customs and Revenue merger

Government fails to back Customs and Revenue merger

The government has refused to accept that Customs and Excise should merge with the Inland Revenue as recommended by MPs on the Treasury Committee.

In its response to the influential Commons Treasury Committee report on the future of Customs, paymaster general Dawn Primarolo said the government had found no reason why a merger of Customs and the Revenue should proceed in the future.

While accepting that there were a ‘number of synergies’ in the core tax work of both departments, the government said it needs to be recognised that there are also important differences between the roles of the two which required the development of different skill sets in assurance and collection.

‘Thus, while the government accepts that merger might bring some of the benefits outlined by the committee, it believes that they can be achieved without the disbenefits of merger through a dynamic and focused programme of closer working,’ she said.

The Treasury Committee had previously reported it saw ‘little force’ in the argument that the revenue departments should not be merged because they did not already have very similar, or identical, roles and responsibilities.

The Treasury Committee published its report on Customs on 15 February and the government took three months to respond.

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