HMRC is shitting itself that its Customs operations will fall apart after Brexit.
In a recent letter to MPs on the Commons public accounts committee, Jon Thompson, CEO of HMRC, said he is in discussions with the Treasury about which projects to stop or extend in order to dedicate more resources to ensuring customs operations continue to function after Brexit.
The FT reports that HMRC said on Wednesday that it could not confirm which of its current 267 projects would get the chop or be postponed, because discussions with Treasury were ongoing.
It stressed that a priority for HMRC was its transition to a new Customs Declaration Service, which the department expects to be in place by next January. The new computer system is intended to be able to cope with the expected huge increase in customs declarations after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.
Thompson previously told MPs that Brexit had increased HMRC’s workload by 15 per cent and would threaten some of the “pretty huge” transformation under way at the Revenue that has been described as “the biggest organisational change programme in Europe”.
Suffice to say, Thompson’s letter is him signalling that there will be more slippage in HMRC’s making tax digital project, which is due to go into effect for companies with turnover above the £85,000 value added tax threshold from next April — just two days after the UK is set to leave the EU.
“At this stage I can say that we have proposed a number of projects which should stop, or not start and a number which should be stretched out over a longer timescale.Good luck with all that then!
We took our initial proposals to Treasury ministers in early February and we will update the [public accounts] committee as soon as final decisions have been taken.”
Tax does have to be taxing.
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