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HM Revenue and Customs to close 20 Scottish offices

HM Revenue and Customs has announced it is closing 20 offices with the loss of 400 jobs in Scotland.

HM Revenue and Customs has announced it is closing 20 offices with the loss of 400 jobs in Scotland. 

Staff were told on Thursday that across the whole of the UK, more than 90 offices are to close, with a loss of more than 3,000 jobs. 

The Public and Commercial Services  (PCS) union has condemned the move and is warning it could lead to the loss of valuable skills and expertise and be bad news for taxpayers.

The union expressed "deep concern" that the ability of the department to collect revenues and provide tax advice to the public and local businesses would be further undermined by the closures.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "In these uncertain economic times, these closures and job losses will hit businesses, the public and the communities they serve. Rural areas will be disproportionately hit, with face-to-face tax advice reduced to a bare minimum and quality jobs taken out of local economies.

"As the recession worsens, this will come as a bitter blow to a dedicated workforce and will lead to a loss of valuable knowledge and expertise. 

Officials said services were already suffering with a drive to axe 25,000 jobs and close more than 200 offices leading to backlogs of post and claims that the department can only chase up those who owe £20,000 or more in tax due to a lack of resources.

A phased shut-down will begin in 2010, with plans to vacate the buildings earmarked for closure before spring 2012.

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