HMRC is currently engaged in a pilot exercise in the North East of England which involves the closure of face to face tax offices. They are being replaced with a “tailored” service for those who “Need Enhanced Support”.
In reality, staff are being told to direct as many taxpayers as possible to phones and the internet in order to reduce the need for face to face appointments. There are concerns that the new NES service isn’t accessible to those with hearing and speech impairments. Rather than catering to those who use face to face services, the pilot is about shoving them aside in the ongoing drive to cut jobs.
This move puts the jobs of 1300 tax advisors at risk. It also means the end of a vital service that millions of ordinary people in our communities rely on every year. This is yet another attack on the poor and vulnerable by a deeply unpopular government of the rich.
The department’s own public consultation shows customers heavily rely on a face to face service, yet they still intend to plough ahead and close all 281 Enquiry Centres in early 2014.
Don’t let them turn HMRC into a faceless service.
Details of activities taking place during the week will be publicised in due course.
Download a PDF of Keep Tax Advice Local issue 1 here