Customs & Excise chiefs were mounting a fierce rearguard action yesterday against the idea of a merger with the Inland Revenue. The proposal is being studied by the Commons Treasury committee following a visit to Canada, which has successfully merged two similar departments. Sub-committee chairman Sir Michael Spicer said MPs 'have a completely open mind' but are anxious to examine whether economies and efficiencies of scale could be achieved. He said there were arguments for keeping two departments dealing with central revenue raising and import duties and controls separate - but this separation was muddied by Customs' administration of VAT. He told Accountancy Age: 'It is an issue one can argue both ways.' Senior Labour MP Jim Cousins was not prepared to accept arguments on the lines of 'what we have, we hold', but said he was prepared to listen to 'new thinking' about ways the two bodies' accounting practices might be aligned. He said a merger would particularly help small businesses by reducing the cost of administration of corporation tax, income tax and VAT. He said the Canadians found duties could be collected more cheaply through accounting processes and paid in arrears - a central tax process - than by collecting physically at borders. And he believed closer working between the two revenue authorities would more effectively deal with the 'informal economy'. The committee will also look at other aspects of Customs' work, including enforcement against the 'black economy' and the effect on legitimate small business of tax avoidance by competitors.
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PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23