18th February 2012
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was formed on the 18 April 2005, following the merger of Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise Departments. Work is still continuing on our office restructuring programme following implementation of a national computer system, allowing automation of several processes and therefore requiring fewer staff.
HMRC ensure the correct tax is paid at the right time, whether this relates to payment of taxes received by the department or entitlement to benefits paid.
The department I work in is Personal Tax Operations, Edinburgh Group, this department collects and administers Direct taxes paid by an individual or a business on money earned or capital gained.
This tax comes in the form of:-
* Capital Gains Tax
* Income Tax
* Self Assessment
Each year HMRC issues a staff survey. The survey is completed voluntarily, however, staff are encouraged to complete it. Information is collated from approximately twenty questions relating to different aspects of the job and how staff view their direct line manager and senior management.
The 2011 results achieved an excellent response from staff over 75% of Edinburgh Group replied to the survey. However, some of the results received by the department were extremely poor. Following these poor results Senior Management felt areas needed to be addressed immediately.
One of those areas related to learning and development opportunities.
The question asked “I am able to access the right learning and development opportunities when I need to” 84% of staff disagreed.
As the staff survey is anonymous the 84% who disagreed could be made up of Administration Assistant (AA), Assistant Officer (AO), Officer (O) and Higher Officer Grade(HO) responses.
Their training requirements would significantly differ.
An AA may require computer training and keyboard skills. Until recently most AA work has been filing, collecting, sorting and delivering post to different parts of the building. Now they are being trained on simple correspondence items, for example how to update changes of phone number or address. Many of them have a home computer but have never accessed the HMRC system. However, like many places of employment you are expected to use the standard process descriptions available and update the system with little or no training. Unfortunately, some don’t have access to a home computer and this task has changed their job role completely.
An AO may require keyboard training, self-assessment training or personal tax training this can include training for expenses, updating a tax code, tax implications on entering and leaving the UK or how to issue manual payments these are only a few of the training issues that have been highlighted by the AO’s recently.
A Band O Manager will require different training from an AA or AO Grade many of the Band O Managers have progressed from AA to AO to Band O but not necessarily within Personal Tax. They may require management training, how to deal with sick absence or performance issues. They may need tax training if that is not their particular background in order to carry out quality checks.
A Band O technician will require background knowledge of tax at AO level and an enhanced knowledge in order to deal with the technical aspects of the correspondence received. Training requested could be for residence certificate’s, overpayment relief claims for self-assessment, business losses, capital gains, in fact any of the technical aspects.
A Higher Officer Manager may require the same training as a Band O Manager if they have not been responsible for a team for a considerable amount of time. Changes to guidance may have been implemented and they may require assistance with how to deal with day to day management. They may just need to know how to make a spread sheet to monitor...
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