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HMRC plans to cut jobs in 21 offices

3rd Dec 2013
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HMRC has launched a voluntary exit scheme aimed at cutting 3,000 fixed-term contract staff jobs in 21 offices across the UK.

There are no plans to close the offices but staff were told that the sites do not appear to feature in HMRC’s long-term plans.

There are currently 3,900 people on fixed-term appointments at HMRC offices across the UK, but the Revenue confirmed plans to keep only 1,000 of them on past the end of their contracts on March 2014. 

Staff targets include 1,500 in personal taxes and compliance, and 500 in debt management.

Around 260 jobs are under threat at four Welsh offices, a further 80 staff at Barnstaple in Devon, 150 Scottish staff and 240 in Northern Ireland.

The Revenue said that the job cuts are down to people increasingly availing their online services.

The Pubic and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said it will challenge the voluntary exit scheme, and use the 90-day redundancy consultation period to “fully scrutinise” HMRC’s budgets and come up with alternatives.

“We have made it clear we oppose the decision not to extend these contracts beyond April 2014 or make the staff permenant,” it said in a press release.

Since 2005, 34,000 jobs have gone from HMRC. Another 10,000 are planned by 2015 under recent spending cuts.

The PCS also expressed concern that the Revenue is already suffering from staff shortages which may have an impact on its performance.

In a statement, HMRC said: "These are fixed term contract staff whose contracts are coming to an end – these employees never were permanent staff," a spokesperson said.

HMRC confirmed its intention to extend up to 1,000 of the contracts beyond March but it not known for how long.

“HMRC's business areas have continually reviewed where work should be done and adjusted their workforce and offices in response to business’ needs.

“The voluntary exits being offered to staff in 21 offices are as a result of one or more business areas concluding that these offices do not fit with their long-term plans, and that work that is currently being done in them is better placed in other offices,” it said.

Update, 6 Dec - Tax justice campaigner Richard Murphy published a letter from HMRC workforce management director Dorothy Brown explaining the voluntary redundancy programme to MPs. She explains that staff are being invited to apply at 21 locations. "In 14 of these locations we are unlikely to retain a presence in the longer term," she wrote.


Replies (24)

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By the_Poacher
03rd Dec 2013 16:01

Every little helps!
Those job cuts will certainly speed up responses to correspondence from the public and accountants. Well done HMRC

Thanks (5)
By JCresswellTax
03rd Dec 2013 16:03


Job cuts at HMRC - just what the doctor ordered....not

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By mikefleming3028
04th Dec 2013 09:40

If you ran a business with an annual turnover of £460 billion but with a "takings " gap of £35 billion would your forward plan be to cut staff to save on the wages bill or to retask part of the workforce to collect as much of the missing takings as possible.

How many proceeds of crime reports did HMRC look into in the last 24 mths and how much did they recoup as a result? How much PAYE has been written off  for the lack of  trained staff to chase it up. How many Companies are set up, traded for a year or so and binned by Company House because  accounts have not been submitted and of course HMRC don't have the staff to chase up any potential liability.   From above I quote:- 

"Staff targets include 1,500 in personal taxes and compliance, and 500 in debt management"

Who makes these decisions I ask, as it looks to me like the economics of the lunatic asylum?

Thanks (7)
By Lears' Fool
04th Dec 2013 10:41

"Long Term Plans"

They do not have any plans.......

They used to refer to them as aspirations.

You wait, they will dump the FTAs who have at least some experience and within months will appoint cheaper novices to start the cycle all over again.

God help us all!



Thanks (1)
Should Be Working ... not playing with the car
By should_be_working
04th Dec 2013 10:45

Nudging Required

The only way this will improve HMRC quality of service is if only the cr*p staff are 'volunteered' for the exit. Somehow in a heavily unionised poorly managed organisation like HMRC I don't see that happening.

Good news for private sector tax departments though.

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By andiparsons29
04th Dec 2013 11:13

Having a joke

Surely this has to be a joke??? We've been told several times by staff at HMRC that they are short staffed as explanations for the several month delays in dealing with things - especially VAT or CIS related. 

I suppose they will just be expecting us Accountants to cover even more work for them, yet alone what will happen with actually investigating any tax fraud or debt recovery etc to bring in revenue. 

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By Mature Student
04th Dec 2013 11:26

Makes no sense

And in the same week that the government announced that increased collection of outstanding / evaded taxes will cover the cost of the gas / electricity levy changes.

No joined up thinking whatsoever.

Thanks (1)
By petersaxton
04th Dec 2013 11:29

Why should we expect anything else?

We have to realise that most people go into politics because they like the lifestyle. They don't have any desire to improve the lives of the population.

More and more we find that the decisions politicians make are simply ridiculous.

They may talk about improving things but they say that to get elected then they will go back to getting their snouts in the trough. There may be a lot of hard working MPs but once they start progressing they have to change otherwise they will be distrusted by their colleagues.

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By Roland St Clere-Smithe
04th Dec 2013 11:46

And it will never change- Peter

As long as the politicos know that the British people will do nothing but moan.


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Replying to andy.partridge:
By petersaxton
04th Dec 2013 12:30

Start a political party

Roland St Clere-Smithe wrote:

As long as the politicos know that the British people will do nothing but moan.

I know that is my plan. I will announce it here.

Our manifesto will be based on the most sensible things that need changing.

I am getting my mail delivered by the Royal Mail and TNT. TNT also gives some mail to Royal Mail to deliver. Presently I seem to get one and sometimes two deliveries a day. I'm not thinking that is efficient or sensible.

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By Tom 7000
04th Dec 2013 12:00


We are short of money...I know... lets fire the people who collect it

Yep that works.

BTW if you have recently been made redundant from HMRC and live near the GU post code and you have 10 years tax experience and a CTA certificate....I might have a job here for you


See already theres a silver lining...its much better here :)

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By Ian McTernan CTA
04th Dec 2013 12:03

Do the people

who make these decision ever actually visit the offices of HMRC?  Talk to the staff?  No, of course not- these decisions are made by career civil servants safe in the knowledge that their jobs are safe.

Huge inefficient computer programs poorly instigated and amazingly expensive have killed the budget, meaning they need to lay off more workers at the coal face.

What we need rather than 'protect my empire' civil servants and politicians is some joined up thinking.

It's high time we had a modern tax system that used ONE number for all taxes, just add a letter at the end to define what it is, one account with HMRC where everything is reconciled, over/under payments re assigned automatically and companies, businesses and individuals can access and see at a glance where they stand.

Then bolster the debt recovery section and investigations side and get a better reporting system between sections of the department- if employment income is reported under RTI then this should feed through to DWP automatically for benefits etc, not have to report it three or four times to various departments increasing paperwork and shredding effiecency.

As someone who meets HMRC on a daily basis, most of them struggle to do the job with at least one hand tied behind their back and with so many reports to file and stats to keep it's amazing they find time to actually do their jobs at all!

Thanks (3)
Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
By Lears' Fool
04th Dec 2013 13:18

Spot on !!

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By pembo
04th Dec 2013 12:12


suppose bit like the company in deep trouble getting rid of their credit controlller to save money. By the time you take into account the loss to the treasury of  tax/NIC + possible benefit claims etc the saving is probably about £50.

How about putting that guy who used to chair the co-op in charge of HMRC ? Seems sensible to me. 

Thanks (1)
By jdixon2614
04th Dec 2013 12:25

HMRC Contractor Job Losses

"In a statement, HMRC said: "These are fixed term contract staff whose contracts are coming to an end – these employees never were permanent staff," a spokesperson said."

... but are they being taxed as permanent employees?


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By carnmores
04th Dec 2013 12:55

yes you all know best dont you

is it possible that HMRC are correct that they are overstaffed in all the wrong areas. tackling evasion is not best achieved by just having more staff you dont work harder you work smarter

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By MattCTS
04th Dec 2013 12:47


Does this mean that my letters will be answered quicker than the 5 weeks it's taking now - of course not!

As for the encouragement to use online services, when I last emailed HMRC on a matter through their secure email system on their website their response was to put it in writing in a letter!!


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By chuxley
04th Dec 2013 12:48

A great idea to improve tax collection and answer queries. If the government wants to save more money it could close the hospitals and prisons .. yep it all makes sense to me. NOT!

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By JohnG
04th Dec 2013 12:48

Sheer Madness

HMRC cannot cope as it is.  I am sure that most of us strive to get the best tax answer for our clients, while remaining within the law and retaining our professional integrity.  But I shudder to think how much tax is lost by HMRC having inadequate resources to deal with deliberate under-declaration or even misunderstandings of the many technical issues involved.  But then I suppose there are many out there who thrive on an inefficent HMRC.  We'll just have to get used to that woman telling us more often that there is lots of useful information on their website, when all we want to do is talk to someone.  Maybe it's time I retired (if I could afford it)

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By Jimess
04th Dec 2013 14:25

Online Services

The main reason people are "increasingly availing Online Services" is because HMRC are forcing people down that route with insistence that most tax reports such as RTI, VAT, corporation tax etc are only submissible online.  I wonder if people would increasingly avail themselves of HMRC's online services if there was any choice over the filing of such tax reports.  It is the most frustrating site I have ever come across, half the downloadable forms are missing, the search engine is awful and when you do get a problem with HMRC Online Services the best you can hope for is a call back from the HMRC that more often than not never happens.  Well done HMRC!

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By ghewitt
04th Dec 2013 14:44

Same old same old

Everything is fine and working out just as it should.

petersaxton said...

"We have to realise that most people go into politics because they like the lifestyle. They don't have any desire to improve the lives of the population ... There may be a lot of hard working MPs but once they start progressing they have to change otherwise they will be distrusted by their colleagues".

I agree.

But I think all MP's go into it to 'snout-up' in the trough; enough time has gone by for no-one to be fooled by thinking they will make a difference. Surely?

Anyway, what are we complaining about?

We have everything we want.

We have the politicians we want.

We have the government we want.

We have the industry we want.

We have the wars we want.

We have the world we want.

We love it. Don't we?


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By mikefleming3028
04th Dec 2013 15:25

HMRC Annual report


The figures shown below are extracted fro m HMRC annual report and show  the average cost of collecting £I of tax is less than 1penny.   The "expensive "bit is tax credits and even that is getting cheaper to administer year on year. I would say that  this business model would be hard to screw up but a combination of the current Board  with the help of one or two enthusiastic Politicians are doing their level best to do exactly that. 


Unit costs (pence per £ collected/paid out)

-2012 13

-2011 12

Collecting Income Tax (Self Assessment and Pay As You Earn)



Collecting Corporation Tax



Collecting National Insurance Contributions



Collecting VAT



Administering Personal Tax Credits



Administering Child Benefits




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By pius
04th Dec 2013 16:55

Revenue Job Losses

I fear that while Revenue & Customs is run by people who know nothing about tax and care not a jot about delivery of service, nothing will change. Such younger staff as have been recruited, are not well trained any more and the older increasingly demotivated ones that were good are leaving as soon as they can. I gather the department has the lowest degree of job satisfaction of any government department. As for office closures, these will follow as night follows day. The department has all but given up on investigations, except the specially targetted ones. It's hard to believe that a bunch of properly trained Tax Inspectors handling the usual caseload of investigations wouldn't bring in more than they cost.

Thanks (1)
By TaxMatters
04th Dec 2013 18:48

Job Losses ? ? ?

What's the problem ? Support the independence of Scotland and close the Scot. call centres! Job done! (I know it's a a bit tongue in cheek)

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