Jon Thompson announced on the 18th of July 2019 that he has quit HMRC to take on the role as Chief Executive of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the autumn.  The FRC says on its website that:

We regulate auditors, accountants and actuaries, and we set the UK’s Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes. We promote transparency and integrity in business. Our work is aimed at investors and others who rely on company reports, audit and high-quality risk management.

Mr Thompson takes over from Stephen Haddrill, the FRC’s chief executive for the past 10 years.  A joint press release from HMRC and the FRC is on gov.uk.

The announcement came on the day that HMRC released their annual report and accounts: 2018 to 2019. 


Global Payroll Association Comment

In our minds, Jon Thompson will always be remembered as being the civil servant who said to the Public Accounts Committee in September 2018 that:

  • the standard of administration of PAYE is not good enough” by some employers and “significantly variable” plus
  • “They are then not administering PAYE to the standard that we think they should be. That then flows into RTI”

This can be viewed or downloaded at https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/f56ba655-1f07-4471-a028-14c6a9734938.

We received many member comments after this.  Maybe this was a one-off event we thought.  After all, HMRC could not generate the £billions they do without the dedication of employers and UK professionals.  Although, his parting shot at employers in the above annual report at point 2.39 seems to indicate that it is Mr Thompson’s deep held belief that employers are the cause of “current challenges”.  He says:

“The income tax system is not administered by HMRC alone; there are more than two million PAYE employer schemes that process and report more than 100 million transactions each month. This requires the engagement and cooperation of employers and payroll providers in fulfilling their obligations for real-time reporting and payment of tax deductions to HMRC.”

HMRC will begin their recruitment process shortly and a replacement announced in due course.