Yesterday's article about Reviews and Appeals prompted a loyal reader to write to me pointing out that a substantial part of the work involves reviews of late filing penalties, work which is carried out in Londonderry (the future of which after 2015 appears uncertain).
I have been asked if I would publish the feedback by the reader, but on an anonymous basis.
Here is the full text:
"A substantial part of this work involves reviews of SA late filing penalties and employer PAYE penalties and preparing the HMRC case for cases which are considered by the Appeals Tribunal Judges.Comments and views are welcome.
The office which carries out reviews of SA and Employer PAYE penalties is Londonderry.
HMRC say they do not see a future for the site after 2015.
But this is ongoing work, every year's SA and Employer filing deadline creates more review requests.
So, if Londonderry staff are let go on voluntary release terms, including costs of redundancy compensation, the work will definitely have to be placed at another location, involving:-
- further costs of retraining staff at that new location
- disruption to customer service during the transition period until new staff are fully competent.
As well as approx 70 Personal Tax staff in Londonderry, who deal with Appeal reviews and are being invited to apply for redundancy, Londonderry also houses a specialised VAT Overseas Repayment Unit of about 80 staff.
So unless HMRC decides to also release the VAT staff by 2015, by again moving ongoing work from Londonderry to another office, the Londonderry office will continue to exist with ongoing accommodation costs at current levels, but with only half occupation.
I see the PCS website has a report on staff stress levels in Wales. I reckon it's not just in Wales."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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