Brighton’s HMRC offices are set to close in 2018/19 as part of a ten-year modernisation programme which is scrapping most of its 43 office.
The tax office says its regional offices are a legacy of the 60s and 70s, and wants to instead bring staff together in two new regional centres in Croydon and Stratford, with specialist centres in Worthing and Dover.
It says it expects between 5,000 and 5,300 full-time equivalent employees to work in the Stratford regional centre and 2,500 to 2,800 full-time equivalent employees in the Croydon regional centre.
Lin Homer, HMRC’s chief executive, said: “HMRC is committed to modern, regional centres serving every region and nation in the UK, with skilled and varied jobs and development opportunities, while also ensuring jobs are spread throughout the UK and not concentrated in the capital.
“HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and out-dated 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 in Stratford and Croydon will bring our staff together in more modern and cost-effective buildings in areas with lower rents. They will also make a big contribution to the economy of the region providing high-quality, skilled jobs and supporting the Government’s commitment to a national recovery that benefits all parts of the UK.”
The modernisation programme, which started in 2000, includes investment in new online services, data analytics, new compliance techniques, new skills and new ways of working, to make it easier for the honest majority of customers to pay their tax, including by improving customer service, and harder for the dishonest minority to cheat the system.
The changes have already resulted in over 80 per cent of people filing their Self Assessment returns online and given customers new, simple ways to check their payments, make changes or find answers to questions.