Questions raised about HMRC restructure

Questions raised about HMRC restructure

HM Revenue & Customs has announced another reorganisation of its internal structure, prompting questions from a senior MP about its impact.

Jon Thompson, new chief executive of HMRC, said the body would be transforming into a smaller more highly-skilled operation, based in fewer locations and offering modern, digital services to customers.

To help achieve this, Mr Thompson said that from October HMRC would be reorganising its directorates into three new groups: customer strategy and tax design, customer compliance and customer services.

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Mr Thompson said: “These changes will help us to become an organisation that is truly focused on customers, providing great customer service and designing policies, products and processes with customers in mind.

“They will also enable us to deepen our specialist skills and knowledge, by bringing together teams engaged in similar work allowing us to respond more flexibly and speedily to changing business and customer needs.

“The reorganisation also builds on changes we have made over the past couple of years of which you are already aware.”

But the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee Andrew Tyrie has questioned the need for another reorganisation of HMRC.

Mr Tyrie pointed to evidence given to the committee last week that HMRC has been through a dozen reorganisations since the merger of the Inland Revenue with HM Customs & Excise in 2005.

He said: “On Tuesday, I pointed out that HMRC had been reorganised to some degree nearly once a year on average. The last one was in November 2015. On Wednesday, they announced another one.

“Perhaps all this turbulence is necessary. Perhaps any benefit will be offset by lower staff morale. Time will tell.”

An HMRC spokesperson said:“The way HMRC works is changing for the better. We are more determined than ever to deliver an outstanding service to our customers while clamping down on the minority of tax dodgers who try to cheat the system.

“The announcement was about the next step in driving those commitments forward, modernising how we work.”