Who are HMRC anyway?

Ever wondered who the people behind HMRC are?

Well here is the organisational chart as of June 2014.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/321875/HMRC_organisation_chart_2014-06-01.pdf

HMRC – a brief history…..

King John in 1203 goes the credit for establishing a Customs service on a national scale responsible directly to the Crown. At all the ports, he required six or seven ‘wise and substantial men, well versed in the law’ to account to him for the revenue; and he divided the control between assessment, collection and accounting to guard against bribery or collusion.

Collectors of Customs were appointed at each principal port. The limits between each port were defined to ensure the whole of the coastline was covered. The collectors’ principal task was to assess and collect the proper duties of Customs.

At various times in history, instead of appointing his own collectors, a King would sell the rights to the Customs duties for a fee, often substantial, to a merchant who would then undertake the collection with his own staff. This system of ‘farming’ was open to abuse, bribery and loss of revenue and was finally abandoned in 1671 when Charles II appointed his first Board of Commissioners.

The Excises were first imposed in this country by the Long Parliament in 1643, to provide money for the parliamentary forces whilst engaged in war against the Crown. Thus, where the Customs are old, royal and prerogative duties – long pre-dating Parliament – the Excises are of purely parliamentary origin.

Excises were initially managed directly by a Board of Commissioners in the same manner as the Customs. At the Restoration, it was part of the settlement that one half of the total Excise Revenue should be made over to Charles II for the term of his natural life, and the other half to him or his heirs forever (as compensation for the loss to the Crown of their rights to the feudal dues).

The whole of the Excise was therefore in Charles’ personal hands, and contemporary records show that he allowed, for example, Nell Gwynn £500 a month from these monies.

The modem department goes back to 1909 when the separate Boards of Customs Commissioners and Excise Commissioners were amalgamated.

Interesting huh….

source:- The National Archives

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