HMRC has announced plans that aim to improve the level of customer service provided to customers. HMRC have stated they will do this by streamlining operations into three core groups.
The new structure will move away from the old approach and instead be replaced with a Customer Strategy & Tax Design team, a Customer Service team and a Customer Compliance team. The hope is that this will enable HMRC to better focus on specific client needs, and provide an overall more effective and efficient service.
The bulk of the reorganisation will be implemented in October 2016, with a planned completion date of December 2016. Effectively, the current four directorates will be reorganised into three divisions:
- A new customer strategy and tax design group, will bring together customer strategy, tax policy, process design and tax assurance teams, led by Jim Harra, Director General of Business Tax;
- An expanded customer service group, which will include the main operational teams, led by Ruth Owen, currently Director General of Customer Services;
- A customer compliance group, which will tackle non-compliance and enforcement for all customer groups, including large businesses, led by Jennie Granger, current Director General of Enforcement and Compliance.
This restructuring comes as a result of the Making Tax Digital initiative and will be better suited to an online, digital approach to tax. From a customer point of view, it is reassuring to see HMRC make an effort to improve upon its current setup, a setup that has consistently failed to meet the needs of its customers.
This is just the next step on a long journey of modernisation for HMRC. Time will tell whether or not modernisation necessarily equates to improvement.