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HMRC ponders single customs and tax system

[ September 15, 2017   //   ]

HMRC head John Thompson has told the Treasury Committee that the department is investigating a possible “Singapore-style” system that would allow companies to handle tax and customs checks done in one place, the BBC reports.

It would however mean bringing together 26 different organisations into a “single window”, and would be a “mega project”, he warned.

The also said that HMRC did not currently have the money for such a project, although there had been “extensive conversations” with the Treasury.

He put the cost of the project at between £500m and £800m and it would take five to seven years to implement.

Director general of customer strategy, Jim Harra,  told MPs that the agency would have to deal with an additional 130,000 new companies that import and export within the EU after Brexit.

This could increase customs declarations fivefold and would need an extra 3-5,000 staff.

The remarks follow the publication in August of the Government’s suggested plans for  customs arrangements after Brexit, including a possible customs partnership with the EU.