Shocking data shows that less than a third of HMRC go into the office



They are quick to take hardworking Brits to task if their accounting is incorrect.

But shocking data unearthed by the Daily Mail today suggests the taxman has been creative with his arithmetic.

When it comes to working from home, His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has long been one of the worst-performing government departments, with monthly occupancy data for its London headquarters standing at between 48 and 66 percent last month.

But these figures only reflect the percentage of desks that are actually occupied. The Mail can reveal that despite 1,012 employees working at HMRC’s office at 100 Parliament Street, there are only 505 work stations.

That means the total number of officials actually present is between 242 and 333 – between just 24 and 33 percent of their total workforce.

The Mail can reveal that despite employing 1,012 employees at HMRC’s office at 100 Parliament Street (pictured), it contains just 505 workstations.
Jacob Rees-Mogg – who as a former government efficiency minister introduced the scheme requiring government departments to publish occupancy data – said last night: ‘The service they provide is simply not good enough’
That means the total number of officials actually present is between 242 and 333 – between just 24 and 33 percent of their total workforce

Jacob Rees-Mogg – who as a former government efficiency minister introduced the scheme requiring government departments to publish occupancy data – said last night: ‘The service they provide is simply not good enough.

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‘If citizens can actually get through when they call, receive correct advice and people’s complaints are handled properly, then it would be fine if offices remained empty. But that doesn’t happen.’

Meanwhile, fewer than four in 10 civil servants working for the tax authorities across Britain actually come into the office every day. Despite complaints about poor customer service, only 38 percent of UK HMRC staff were at their desks on an average day last month.

This number fell to just 24 per cent for mandarins in the department’s Whitehall office.

It comes after a damning National Audit Office report found that members of the public who wanted to speak to a tax adviser over the phone were kept on hold for almost 23 minutes.

It comes after a damning National Audit Office report found that members of the public who wanted to speak to a tax adviser over the phone were kept on hold for almost 23 minutes (stock image)

In January alone, 840,000 calls to HMRC went unanswered. Yet figures released to the Mail under the Freedom of Information Act show that on average only 23,269 of the department’s 61,186 staff across the country come into the office every day.

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And more than 10,000 of HMRC’s 33,806 desks were generally empty during the week beginning April 22, the most recent period for which figures are available.

In April, HMRC introduced new rules that would restrict staff to working from home on no more than two days a week. When asked why that hadn’t increased office attendance to 60 percent, one source blamed vacations, sick leave and “off-site” working.

And an HMRC spokesperson insisted that ’95 per cent of colleagues expected to visit the office did so by March 2024 and most of them met or exceeded their minimum expectation for office attendance’.

A recent Money Mail investigation found that some taxpayers are being forced to wait a year for tax refunds and a nine-month delay in replying to letters. Today’s findings also raise questions about the way HMRC and other departments record footfall at their offices in Whitehall.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘The time it takes tax authorities to answer the phone has increased dramatically, and taxpayers will have little doubt that the work-from-home culture that has taken over is HMRC partly to blame.’

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