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UK Treasury Expected To Take Greater Role In Tax Policy

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

26 November 2003


In his pre-Budget speech next month, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown is expected to announce that the Treasury Department will take a larger role in setting tax policy at the expense of the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Next month will also see the publication of a review into the two tax collecting departments commenced in the summer, which on the surface was aimed at creating "a new framework for accountability for those working on tax" but has led to widespread speculation that the two departments will be merged.

However, it is also supposed that recent well-publicised blunders in tax legislation and administration, such as the child tax credit debacle, and the recent revelation by the National Audit Office that the Revenue may have wasted £2 billion in mistaken tax credit payouts, might be averted in future if the Treasury takes a more hands-on approach, backed by greater resources. This will also allow the tax collecting departments to concentrate on their primary front-line services.


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