He will replace current chairman Mike Clasper when he steps down at the end of the year.
Barlow is currently non-executive chairman at WSP and a non-executive director and chairman of the audit committees of Smith & Nephew, PA Consulting Group and the Brunner Investment Trust. He also chairs The Racecourse Association.
Welcoming Barlow’s appointment, HMRC chief executive Lin Homer said the role of lead non-executive director was “an important governance role, chairing the board and providing supportive challenge to the executive committee in developing and delivering HMRC’s vision and strategy, and ensuring HMRC delivers its performance and customer service objectives”.
HMRC has also announced who is to replace Dave Hartnett as second secretary and tax assurance commissioner when he retires on 31 July. He is Edward Troup, currently HM Treasury’s director general for tax and welfare, and he takes on responsibility for shaping tax policy and strategy, tax professionalism, and overseeing and providing assurance of large tax settlements.
A tax lawyer, he joined the Treasury in 2004 from Simmons & Simmons. He moves across to sit on HMRC’s executive committee in August.
This is great news,” said Frank Haskew, head of the Tax Faculty at ICAEW. “Ian is a heavy-hitter, very professional and he really knows his stuff. He’s also commercial and is the ideal person to help the organisation to go in the right direction.”
It has been a tumultuous week for the Revenue after the National Audit Office recorded £5.2bn in taxes were written off by the department last year, and chair of the committee of public accounts Margaret Hodge criticised a "litany of tax errors and scandals."