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Centres in Bradford, Keighley and Skipton could close next year
7:38pm Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
The future of tax office inquiry centres in Bradford, Keighley and Skipton was thrown into doubt today as the UK tax authority announced plans to replace such centres with a telephone service and home visits.
Revenue and Customs is to trial a new service for 1.5 million people who need extra help with their tax affairs, which will lead to the closure of a number of offices.
HMRC said one-to-one support would be offered in a range of “convenient” locations, including a person’s own home or business.
A total of 13 centres will close initially in the North and North East of England, including York, Sunderland, Scarborough, Newcastle, Durham and Darlington.
If the trials are successful, the remaining centres out of the current total of 281 will close next year. According to HMRC’s website, tax office inquiry centres in the area include those at Centenary Court, 1 St Blaise Way, Bradford, Worth House, Worth Way, Keighley, and Cavendish House, Newmarket Street, Skipton.
HMRC said it had calculated that the new service would save customers almost £12 million a year in lost time and travel costs, and be more than £13 million a year cheaper to run than the current service.
The number of people visiting the 281 centres has halved from five million in 2005/6 to fewer than 2.5 million in the past year.
The Public and Commercial Services union said closing face-to-face inquiry centres would cut off vital support for vulnerable taxpayers.