Staff quit HMRC in highest numbers for four years as stress rises
Staff are quitting HM Revenue & Customs in their highest numbers for four years, following relentless pressure from ministers to cut costs and improve performance.
A total of 1,697 staff left in 2012-13, the largest figure since 2008-09, according to UHY Hacker Young, the accountancy group.
“HMRC has come in for some stinging criticism recently over its performance and it seems to be taking some time for staff morale to be restored,” said Roy Maugham, tax partner at UHY Hacker Young.
“This latest increase in resignations is not good news for HMRC or the taxpayer, at a time when its effectiveness and quality of service are under intense scrutiny.”
Last week, HMRC came under attack from MPs for raising just a quarter of the money expected from a tax evasion agreement with Switzerland. The MPs criticised the Revenue for settling cases of offshore evasion rather than mounting more criminal prosecutions.
Accountants warn that HMRC is now under so much pressure to target evasion and avoidance that it has been forced to shift more of its budget towards enforcement, and so has less capacity to deal with run of the mill inquiries from customers.
The latest resignation figures reflect this: by far the greatest losses were in the personal tax department, which had 1,238 resignations. The benefits and credits section also saw a large increase in staff leaving, with more than treble the number of resignations compared with the previous year.