HMRC today announced plans to consolidate 170 offices across the UK into 13 regional centres. These regional centres will contain a mix of operational, tax professional and corporate services and will range in size from 1,200 to 1,700 full-time equivalent employees at one end of the scale to 5,700 to 6,300 at the other.
‘Is this change designed to provide a better service to HMRC’s customers or simply save costs? If it is the former then it is to be welcomed. If it is the latter then there is a risk service standards will slip which will not be good news for anyone who has to contact HMRC when it comes to agreeing tax codes or liabilities.
‘The prospect of waiting even longer for HMRC to answer the phone will be of most concern. If however the move to a hub will help guarantee swifter response times and even perhaps someone who will answer the telephone when it rings and who is trained to deal with my query, then the location of the HMRC hub becomes somewhat irrelevant in this digital age.’