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HMRC staff to learn their trade at new tax academy

HMRC staff to learn their trade at new tax academy

Contractor accountants will be interested to learn that HMRC is hoping to boost the Treasury coffers by £900 million by sending its employees to a new tax academy.

As from this coming September, about 400 HMRC staff will start training in taxation so that they can help the government department meet George Osborne’s target of increasing tax revenues by £7 billion a year.

Revenue staff will be able to take professional qualifications at Manchester Metropolitan University. The taxation qualifications will be fully accredited by the AAT and HMRC is confident they will enable each participant to increase the tax they collect from private sector companies by between £2 million and £3 million every year.

A spokeswoman for the Revenue explained that it would be a tough course. Students will only have the opportunity to re-sit a module once and they will be thrown off the course if they fail the re-sit. HMRC expects the attrition rate to be around 25%, but those who are successful will be well equipped to deal with the best private sector tax experts.

HMRC will pay the fees for all the courses, which include an honours degree lasting four years, a foundation course and a lower level qualification equivalent to A-level standard. It will also facilitate training at a number of centres throughout the UK.

Over the last five years, the Revenue has been spending £19.7 million on staff training. The cost of the four-year honours degree will work out at £110,000 per student but this will be an excellent return on investment if the graduates can go on to claw back at least £2 million each per year.

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Image: Graduation by James Almond

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