Jobs under threat as both Lincoln HMRC centres to close

HM Revenue & Customs has announced that 137 offices, including two in Lincoln, will close in a bid to save £100 million by 2025.

The offices to close will be replaced by 13 new regional centres, with the one in the East Midlands to be based in Nottingham.

The HMRC centres at Cromwell House off Crusader Road, and Lawress Hall in Riseholme employ around 170 full-time equivalent staff between them, with some of their jobs potentially at risk from the restructuring.

HMRC said that it expects the majority of staff to be able to move from their current offices to a regional centre, and is phasing the moves over 10 years in order to minimise redundancies.

However, the department will aim to have fewer staff in the future as it streamlines how it works and uses the best of modern technology to reduce costs.

Lin Homer, HMRC’s Chief Executive, said: “HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and outdated offices. This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise our ways of working, and make the changes we need to transform our service to customers and clamp down further on the minority who try to cheat the system.

“The new regional centres will bring our staff together in more modern and cost-effective buildings in areas with lower rents.”

The PCS union said that 11,000 full-time equivalent staff posts had been cut from HMRC since 2010 and any further cuts would be “absolutely devastating.”

PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, said: “Closing this many offices would pose a significant threat to the operation of HMRC, its service to the public and the working lives of staff, and the need for parliamentary scrutiny of the plans is undeniable and urgent.”

Stephen Herring, Head of Taxation at the Institute of Directors, was more positive about the proposals, adding: “Automation, digitisation and the roll-out of online filing have been huge steps forward in the way businesses and individuals pay their tax.

“Online filing is considerably cheaper for businesses, requires less oversight and can be more secure – we should welcome the fact that our tax collectors have recognised how to get more bang for their buck by embracing the technology available to them.

“HMRC is not immune from the need to reduce government spending.”