Before everyone was merged into HMRC, the Inland Revenue, Contributions Agency, and Customs & Excise were all trying to prove they were the best at extracting confessions from taxpayers.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer decided to give them a test.
He released a rabbit into a forest and each of them had to catch it.
The Contributions Agency went first. They placed animal informants throughout the forest and questioned all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive investigations, they concluded that rabbits do not exist.
The Revenue went next. After two weeks with no leads they burned the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit, and they made no apologies. The rabbit had it coming.
Finally Customs went in. They came out two hours later with a badly beaten bear.
The bear was yelling: "Okay! Okay! I'm a rabbit! I'm a rabbit!"