HMRC is a non-ministerial department, formed in 2005. The Commissioners of HMRC have responsibility for handling individual taxpayers’ affairs impartially. This means that ministers are not involved in taxpayers’ cases.
HMRC employs more than 59,000 staff nationwide. This makes it one of the largest employers in the UK. Preventing, detecting and investigating cases of tax evasion falls within the remit of HMRC’s Customer Compliance Group. It uses its wide range of civil powers to investigate tax evasion and also conducts criminal investigations.
It is not responsible for criminal prosecutions – those decisions are made by the Crown Prosecution Service. HMRC plays an important role in implementing the government’s strategy to tackle serious and organised crime. It is involved in the tasking and co-ordination of agencies at national level, alongside the National Crime Agency and others.
HMICFRS’s role in inspecting this agency
We inspect HMRC upon commission.
We must report our findings to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is responsible for publishing a report.
We ask the questions that we believe the public wish to have answered, and publish our findings, conclusions and recommendations. We use our expertise to interpret the evidence and make recommendations for improvement.