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Taxation: Inspections

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many new tax inspectors his Department appointed in each of the last five years; how many it plans to appoint in 2008-09; how many tax inspectors appointed in the last five years have been seconded for training purposes; to which businesses they were seconded; and how many tax inspectors appointed in the last five years were recruited from (a) accounting firms and (b) law firms. (233624)

There are currently over 10,000 tax professional staff within HMRC across a number of disciplines. Staff are recruited into these roles both internally from non-tax professional staff within the Department and externally.

HMRC does not second tax professionals specifically for training purposes, however tax professional staff do spend varying periods with organisations to widen their understanding.

The number of new tax professional staff recruited in each of the last five years and a breakdown of whether tax professionals were recruited from law firms, accountancy firms, or other organisations could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many fully qualified tax inspectors worked in his Department's (a) large business service, (b) teams dealing with tax avoidance schemes and (c) teams dealing with offshore tax havens in each of the last five years; and how many were so deployed on the latest date for which figures are available. (233668)

The term ‘tax inspector’ is a former Inland Revenue term which is no longer used in HMRC. Staff work flexibly to meet business needs, holding a range of qualifications across a number of disciplines.

There are currently over ten thousand staff in tax professional roles across the Department. Records of tax professional staff are not broken down by directorate and precise numbers could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Staff across many directorates deal with tax avoidance schemes in their work and similarly a number of areas of the Department's compliance activity involve inquiring into tax issues relating to offshore jurisdictions, but HMRC does not record the resources spent on this work separately.