Senior Revenue resignations jump by nearly half

SENIOR STAFF resignations have risen by 45% in 2011/12 at HMRC, bringing the number walking out the door to 42, according to UHY Hacker Young.

Some 29 senior staff left in 2010/11, with the figures relating to senior civil servants and employees at grades 6 and 7, those earning more than £47,000 per year.

The taxman drew considerable criticism after controversies over PAYE coding errors and unanswered phone calls to its tax helplines.

Among those leaving in the past year were chairman Mike Clasper and permanent secretary for tax Dave Hartnett, who retired.

Overall resignations in 2011/12 rose, too, with 1,629 leaving, a 48% increase on the 1,100 who handed in their notice the previous year. The personal tax department was the hardest hit, with a 71% rise, up to 1,187 from 695 in 2010/11. Enforcement and compliance saw 281 resignations, an increase of 15% from 244 in 2010-11.

Hacker Young partner Roy Maugham said: “The loss of senior management from HMRC could impact many others in the organisation too. It’s important for HMRC to hang on to its most experienced staff and their in-depth technical skills. With big cuts to staffing numbers and a sharp increase in resignations, there are a lot of skills walking out of the door at HMRC.

“Stability at the top benefits business, personal taxpayers and HMRC. Without stable management and continuity, we could see service levels at HMRC slip.”

For its part, HMRC dismissed the claims, saying in a statement: “Overall, resignations at HMRC have fallen over the last four years, and in a department of about 68,000 staff, it is inevitable that some will decide to leave or retire.

“HMRC is committed to providing stability and good service to our customers. We have already increased the accuracy of tax codes to 98%, and announced the recruitment of an extra 1,000 people to answer the phones, and increased tax yield year on year.”

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