Tax man calls for action on avoidance and evasion

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Terry Cook - the newly appointed President of the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) - has called for increased resources to counter the threat of highly experienced staff being lost to the private sector and to enhance the counter tax evasion work of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). ARC is the union representing senior managers and professionals in HM Revenue and Customs.

Cook, who will serve a two-year term until May 2010, said:

ARC members expect HMRC to invest in improving their training and development, their working environment and their terms and conditions of service, including providing a fair pay award in 2008 which recognises the vital importance to the UK of the work they do. A failure to deliver on pay could have a significant impact on morale and lead to the loss of highly experienced staff to the private sector. Ultimately, this could negatively impact on the tax yield and would amount to a false economy.

ARC members believe that there is a strong case for increased resources for HMRC to counter tax evasion and avoidance in all its forms.

It's a call I also made in the Missing Billions for the TUC.

I've met Terry Cook and he's a good guy, everything you'd want a tax inspector to be.

I hope someone is listening.