Creating a supportive business environment for SMEs
A HM Customs & Excise case study

Page 1: Introduction

In the past there was always a belief that large corporations with the ability to develop mass-production techniques and gain from economies of scale would eventually dominate the UK economy. Many thought that economic growth depended upon the fortunes of large organisations and that the movement towards global companies would eventually confine small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to a minor...
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Page 2: HM Customs & Excise

HM Customs & Excise is a department that has constantly had to adapt to change, such as wider political and economic changes influenced by successive governments and their fiscal policies, to wider initiatives such as that of the Euro. Every organisation needs a purpose or mission that sets the direction for its activities. The aim of Customs & Excise is 'to provide a world class tax...
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Page 3: Creating an efficient and fair system for collecting taxes

Up until the end of the nineteenth century, the functions of the state were mainly defence and law and order. Today, we live in a society where government spending provides us with a range of services and benefits, such as education, protection against the hazards of sickness, local authority services, support for agriculture, police, law-enforcement and fire brigades. Financing these services...
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Page 4: What is VAT?

VAT was introduced as an indirect tax into the UK in 1973 to replace Purchase Tax and Selective Employment Tax. VAT is a tax on the final consumption of goods and services, collected at every stage of production and distribution. All EC Member States are required to implement VAT in line with the provisions of the Sixth Directive. The UK introduced VAT in 1972 when it joined the European...
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Page 5: Supporting SMEs

A recent survey showed that customers want a single point of contact and not to be passed from 'pillar to post' or one enquiry desk in one department to another desk in another department. Similarly they want efficient services that are easy to use and that respond to their own needs and requirements. As part of this process they do not want to be inundated with paper trails or constant changes in...
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Page 6: Conclusion

The external business environment has always had a huge impact upon the health of SMEs. Although there are many more SMEs than there were 20 years ago, these organisations now more than ever, require support and help as they pursue and develop their activities. This case study illustrates how working with other departments Customs & Excise has focused its attention upon meeting the needs of...
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Related: HM Customs & Excise
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