Chapter

Collecting Taxes

Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon

in A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less?

Published in print April 2015 | ISBN: 9780199687022
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191766930 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687022.003.0005
Collecting Taxes

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Chapter 5 examines tax collection costs taxes over thirty years (arguably a policy domain with a strong ‘bottom line’ where one might expect a combination of managerialism and the application of new information technology to have a particularly strong impact). It compares central government tax collection (which emphasized big centralized information technology initiatives) with the more decentralized and less IT-intensive tax collection system in English local government. In both cases tax collection was disrupted over the period by major tax policy changes (particularly Margaret Thatcher’s ill-fated poll tax), central government tax collection costs rose steadily over three decades while local government costs were more stable apart from a spike over the poll tax period, and the two systems do not seem to have differed markedly over cost-to-yield. The more decentralized and low-tech local government system did not perform markedly worse on cost than its IT-intensive central government counterpart.

Keywords: collection costs; tax; local government; central government; Poll Tax; information technology; managerialism

Chapter.  8726 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: UK Politics ; Comparative Politics

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