Jobs could be lost at Louth’s tax enquiry centre after it was announced by HMRC that it would close all 281 of its sites in favour of telephone and home visits.
Louth’s HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) enquiry centre in Lincoln Way on the Fairfield Enterprise Centre will be one of those closing from if a pilot scheme in the North East is successful.
According to HMRC, Tthe new service will provide ‘mobile, one-to-one support in a range of convenient locations, including a person’s own home or business’.
HMRC is discussing the impacts of these changes with staff in enquiry centres and its unions, and insists it will do everything possible to redeploy staff within HMRC, or help them to find another role in the Civil Service.
A five-month pilot to test these new services will run in the North East of England from June 3 to October 31, and HMRC has launched a nationwide consultation on the new service today.
Lin Homer, HMRC’s Chief Executive, said: “HMRC is dedicated to providing help to customers who need it.
“This new service will enable us to tailor that help in a way that works better for customers and is more flexible and affordable than the service we currently provide.
“We will give a more specialised phone service for customers whose affairs can be resolved over the telephone, and face-to-face help to those who need it, visiting them at a place convenient to them, saving them both travel and time.
“HMRC will provide a more modern and accessible service that will target the right support to customers who need it, where and when they want it.”
HMRC believes the new service will save customers almost £12 million a year in lost time and travel costs, and will be more than £13 million a year cheaper to run than the current service.
It is not known how many people are employed at Louth’s tax enquiry centre.