PAC warns HMRC customer service ‘must not suffer’ as it prepares for Brexit

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The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has warned HMRC that its customer service ‘must not suffer’ as it carries out major transformation programmes ahead of the UK leaving the EU in 2019.

Currently, HMRC is undertaking 15 restructuring programmes. In a new report, the PAC warned that, alongside the Treasury, HMRC will have to make ‘tough decisions’ on how it allocates its resources to help increase tax revenues and invest in new measures to combat tax evasion and fraud.

The Committee stated that it is ‘particularly concerned’ about how the average taxpayer could potentially be affected by HMRC’s transformation programmes.

Brexit also brings additional pressures, the PAC said, and HMRC must consider how to change its priorities, and outline the impacts on its customer service.

Commenting on the matter, Meg Hillier, Chair of the PAC, said: ‘HMRC’s transformation programme would have been less risky had it not attempted to do everything at the same time.

‘What was already a precarious high-wire act is now being battered by the winds of Brexit, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

‘In particular we are concerned about the effect on people simply trying to pay their fair share.’