Radical changes to the way Customs & Excise and the Inland Revenue work will mean a better deal for the taxpayer, announced Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo today.

“`Closer Working’ – a programme of work by both departments – will ensure that taxpayers get the high quality service they deserve. It will provide a one-stop-shop of advice, along with improved customer support services, meeting the needs of businesses and individual taxpayers,” said Ms Primarolo.

The ambitious plan covers a wide range of taxpayer services, including:
– Bringing together seven other departments and agencies to work towards improving education, support and compliance in industry. We have, for example, conducted a successful pilot in the London area on the fashion industry and plan to extend to other locations.
– Tackling the shadow economy – where we have successfully conducted pilots and will roll out joint Customs and Revenue teams nationally over the next three years. This will ensure a level playing field for legitimate businesses.
– Running joint seminars and open days – the last one at Kempton Park attracted over 900 businesses and involved 32 other departments, support agencies and regulatory bodies.
– Setting common standards for the sharing of electronic information and developing a joint information systems framework and strategy.


A Closer Working Programme Director and Team were appointed in February last year. The action plan for Closer Working was drawn up and approved by Ministers last September. We have been working vigorously to implement it.

The plan is a Public Service Agreement commitment of both departments and has its origins in the Comprehensive Spending Review. It arose from a desire to achieve more synergy in the way both departments conduct their business by working together.

Press enquiries:
HM Customs and Excise, Communications Division, New King’s Beam House, 22 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PJ.

Board of Inland Revenue, Press Office, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LB.

Related reading