Catalogue description Records of the Boards of Stamps, Taxes, Excise, Stamps and Taxes, and Inland Revenue

Details of IR
Reference: IR
Title: Records of the Boards of Stamps, Taxes, Excise, Stamps and Taxes, and Inland Revenue

Records reflecting the creating bodies' responsibilities in relation to the administration and collection of taxes, including stamp duties and postage stamps, income tax, land and property tax, assessed taxes, tithe apportionment and redemption, land valuation, legacy, succession and estate duties, lotteries, and war damage compensation.

Includes records from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) and its predecessor and successor departments relating to their responsibilities under various Tithe Acts.

For series created for regularly archived websites, please see the separate Websites Division.

Date: 1513-2002
Related material:

For records of the Boards of Customs, Excise, and Customs and Excise, and HM Revenue and Customs, please see:


Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Board of Inland Revenue, 1849-2005

Board of Stamps, 1694-1834

Board of Stamps and Taxes, 1834-1849

Board of Taxes, 1718-1834

Physical description: 274 series
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

from 1905 Board of Inland Revenue

Publication note:

Sir Alexander Johnston, The Inland Revenue, (The New Whitehall Series, XIII, 1965)

Administrative / biographical background:

The Board of Inland Revenue was constituted in 1849 under the Inland Revenue Board Act 1849. It was formed by the amalgamation of the Board of Excise with the Board of Stamps and Taxes. The Board then became the government department responsible for the administration of direct taxes (i.e. those charged directly on the citizen, or his income or property, as distinct from taxes paid directly on the price of goods which were the responsibility of the Board of Customs and Excise).

The main inland revenue duties which the Board administered and collected were: income tax (introduced 1799, repealed 1802, re-imposed 1803-1816 and again in 1842); capital transfer tax (1974); stamp duty (1694); capital gains tax (1965); and corporation tax (1966). In addition, the Board was also responsible for the collection of national insurance contributions on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS), inheritance tax, and petroleum revenue tax.

The Board was also responsible for other duties which were later abolished. These included: the land tax (levied from 1692-1963); the inhabited house duty (1692-1924); assessed taxes on servants, carriages, horses, dogs, etc later replaced by a system of excise licences in 1870; profits tax (introduced as a 'national defence contribution' in 1937 and abolished in 1966); excess profits tax (in force 1939-1946); corporation duty (1885-1959); the legacy and succession duties (repealed in 1949); the taxes on land values (introduced in the Lloyd George budget of 1909, the last of which to survive was the mineral rights duty abolished in 1967); super tax (introduced in 1909, re-named surtax in 1927, and abolished in 1973); estate duty (1894-1974); and excess profits duty and munitions levy (charged during the First World War). In 1909 the Board's responsibilities for the management of excise taxes were transferred to the Board of Customs and Excise.

Arising from the Second World War, the Board collected contributions from property owners towards the expense of compensation payments for war damage. From 1964 it dealt with the settlement of outstanding claims under the War Damage Acts, previously handled by the War Damage Commission and the Board of Trade. It was also responsible for the collection and redemption of tithe redemption annuities transferred from the former Tithe Redemption Commission (from 1 April 1960 until these were extinguished under the Finance Act 1977). The Board was also responsible for the valuation of land and buildings on behalf of other government departments and local authorities.

More recently, the Inland Revenue also administered the Tax Credits schemes, whereby monies, such as Working Tax Credit (WTC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), were paid by the Government into a recipient's bank account or as part of their wages. The Inland Revenue was also responsible for the payment of child benefit.

The central unit of administration was the Board of Commissioners of Inland Revenue which, with its functional divisions, handled questions of policy concerning organisation and administration of provisions of the tax laws, and advised the Chancellor of the Exchequer on matters of policy regarding direct taxation. The executive work was entrusted to a number of branches whose work was largely decentralised.

In 2005 the Board of Inland Revenue was merged with HM Customs and Excise to form a new department, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The merger was implemented by the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 with effect from 18 April 2005.

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