The recruitment drive follows a report by the Public Accounts Committee earlier this year. It revealed that tax revenue from HMRC's compliance work had dropped from an average of 5.2% before the coronavirus pandemic, to 4.2% in 2021-22.
This was the lowest level for over a decade and means the tax office has taken £9billion less over the past two years for compliance work, mostly due to the fraudulent use of Covid schemes.
New data has also shown that the number of tax inspectors in the Fraud Investigation Service, which sits within customer compliance, has added 539 staff in the last year, bringing the total to 4,925.
A HMRC spokesman said: “Our job is to collect the tax people owe. This investment will further enhance our ability to tackle fraud and ensure fairness in the tax system.”
Although HMRC’s self-assessment helpline has now reopened following a three-month hiatus, taxpayers still face long waits as a result of the average number of staff has fallen from 25,500 to 19,500 in five years.
TaxAssist Accountants launched a petition calling for additional resources to help improve HMRC service levels, especially at a time when taxpayers are wanting to file their self-assessment tax returns.
Andy Gibbs ATT CTA, Head of Group Technical at TaxAssist Accountants, said: “Despite MPs promising to look into this, we hope our petition will prompt them to debate HMRC’s resources and help find a viable solution to help taxpayers and, in turn, the UK’s economy.
“While HMRC did a sterling job delivering the Covid support schemes, it is now grappling with poor customer service levels and faces significant challenges implementing a much-needed switch to digital tax solutions.”
Sign our petition
You can still sign our petition calling for more resources for HMRC to cut the delays and meet growing demand, by clicking here.
Date published 5 Oct 2023 | Last updated 28 Nov 2023
Fraser McKay, MCIPR (Accredited)
Fraser is a highly experienced journalist and Accredited PR Professional and joined TaxAssist in 2016. He writes articles covering a wide range of topics relating to small businesses and accounting. In addition, Fraser provides communications training to the network, as well as looking after TaxAssist Accountants' national and local social media channels.
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