FACE-to-face tax advisors are set to become a thing of the past in Huntingdon after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced the closure of all its enquiry offices.
The Huntingdon office, in St John’s Street, was scaled back in 2010 leaving just three staff to deal with over-the-counter enquiries. This service is now expected to be removed by next March.
The end of face-to-face services will mean enquiries will be dealt with on the phone, online and by post – a service that has been labelled inadequate by union members who claim the closures will have an adverse impact on the elderly.
Mike Black, secretary for the Cambridge branch of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: “People who have retired and may have multiple forms of income are the ones who will suffer. They may have several pensions, investments or a lump sum and their tax returns can be very complicated – it’s these people who need the face-to-face help.”
MPs and trades unions have also criticised HMRC after figures showed that 20million of the 79m calls made to the department went unanswered in 2011-12 and it failed to reply to a third of letters within its 15-day target.