The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 received Royal Assent on 7th April 2005. The Act provides the legal basis for the new integrated department, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and the new independent prosecutions office, Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office. As a single department, HMRC is responsible for collecting the bulk of tax revenue as well as paying tax credits and child benefit, and strengthening the UK’s frontiers.
HMRC took over all the existing powers of the two departments and all the officers of the new department are authorised to use all of those powers. As a result of a consultation paper published by HMRC as part of a major review of its powers, deterrents and safeguards, provisions were enacted by Finance Act 2008, s. 113 and Sch. 36 which give HMRC new information and inspection powers across all taxes, including VAT.