THOUSANDS OF HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS STAFF MEMBERS are taking part in a half-day walk-out in protest against cuts to pensions and working conditions.
The strike this morning by members of the Public and Commercial Services union is designed to disrupt the start of the new tax year and the introduction of real-time PAYE - the biggest overhaul of income tax since 1944.
The changes see PAYE reported on or before the date payment is made, while changes will be reported as and when they occur, rather than at the end of the financial year.
The strike is part of a wider movement in the civil service, which saw a three-month programme of industrial action commence on Budget day. This latest round of walkouts began on Friday and has run throughout the weekend across other departments. HMRC's strikers are expected back at their desks from 1pm today.
A PCS statement on its website read: "We will have extra pension contributions imposed while millionaires are handed a tax cut by this cabinet of millionaires. The walkouts also come days after a new civil service performance management system will have been imposed, about which we have been invited to no meaningful negotiations.
"The government refuses to sit down and negotiate over its cuts to pay, pensions and working conditions, so we must act."
A spokesman for HMRC said: "We will do everything possible to maintain essential services to the public."
Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.