Dame Homer slammed for HMRC wait times
Dame Lin Homer faced criticism by the Commons Public Accounts Committee yesterday over HMRC’s poor customer service.
Homer claimed the customer service was improving. She told the committee that in three months to end of December 81% of calls were answered within six minutes. Labour MP Chris Evans said he had seen “a mountain of cases” which have “disappeared into the abyss”.
“The next thing they have had is a letter on their mat either a summons to appear in court or a massive tax bill. They then try phoning again and can't get through, and they phone to me almost in tears saying, 'I don't know how this has happened to me'.”
This was expected to be Homer’s final Commons hearing before the HMRC chief exec leaves her position.
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HMRC winds up inquiry into HSBC Swiss bank tax evaders
HMRC has wound up its criminal investigation into the British customers using HSBC’s Swiss bank to evade tax, Lin Homer also told the PAC.
HMRC has failed to prosecute a single person following the public outcry to investigate the alleged fraud.
Conservative member of the PAC Stephen Phillips fumed: “I – and I suspect most members of parliament – would find it extraordinary that a bank that is domiciled in this jurisdiction with oversight of its Swiss subsidiary has not had action taken against it either by its regulator or by you, who are responsible for investigating it and passing papers to the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] to conduct criminal prosecutions if appropriate.”
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Accountant made redundant after maternity leave
Accountant Ruth Parks has received £50,000 after being demoted and then made redundant following her maternity leave.
Before going on maternity at the Northern Ireland firm Noonan Services, Parks was reassured that her job was safe. However, when she restarted work, she alleged she had a minimal list of duties. She said her name had been removed from the finance organisation chart and two new accountants had been appointed.
Parks said: "I felt I had to take action, not just for my own situation, but so that the same thing doesn't happen to somebody else."