A Tale of the Merger between the Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise

Penelope Tuck, Dominic De Cogan, John Snape

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The merger of HM Commissioners of Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise in 2005 stands out as one of the most instantly recognisable reforms of the UK civil service in recent times. A good deal has been written about the consequences of the merger, but we focus in this chapter on the period immediately before, culminating with the publication of the ‘O’Donnell Review’ and its recommendations that the old departments be merged and that key elements of the policymaking process be transferred to HM Treasury. We portray the merger as a collection of connected reform processes, embracing some although not all of the ideas for administrative change that were current in the early 2000s. The content of the reforms was not entirely revolutionary and shows strong continuity with previous and indeed subsequent initiatives. Yet the merger had a significance and scale that justifies its reputation as a landmark change in the UK tax system, as well as an ideological coherence as a belated application of market-inspired techniques to the tax authorities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in the History of Tax Law Volume 9
EditorsPeter Harris, Dominic De Cogan
PublisherHart Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781509924950, 9781509924943
ISBN (Print)9781509924936
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2019

Publication series

NameStudies in the History of Tax Law
PublisherHart Publishing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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