HMRC is to close 137 local offices by 2027, to be replaced by 13 new regional tax centres which will open in the next five years.
It is feared the plan, which is designed to cut £100m in costs, will result in a large number of job losses within the organisation. HMRC says it expects the majority of staff to be able to move from their current offices to a regional centre, and is phasing the moves over ten years in order to minimise redundancies.
However, the tax authority also admits it aims to have fewer staff in the future as it streamlines how it works and uses modern technology to reduce costs.
The 13 new regional centres will be in Newcastle upon Tyne, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bristol, Stratford and Croydon. Four specialist offices will also operate at Telford, Worthing, Dover and at the Scottish Crime Campus in Gartcosh, near Glasgow.
Lin Homer, HMRC’s chief executive, said: “HMRC is committed to modern, regional centres serving every region and nation in the UK, with skilled and varied jobs and development opportunities, while also ensuring jobs are spread throughout the UK and not concentrated in the capital.
“HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and outdated offices. This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise our ways of working, and make the changes we need to transform our service to customers and clamp down further on the minority who try to cheat the system.
“The new regional centres will bring our staff together in more modern and cost-effective buildings in areas with lower rents. They will also make a big contribution to the cities where they are based, providing high-quality, skilled jobs and supporting the government’s commitment for a national recovery that benefits all parts of the UK.”