Jim Harra takes top job at HMRC

Jim Harra, a thirty plus year tax veteran, is set to take over the top job at the HMRC after acting in an interim role since Sir Jon Thompson moved to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

Harra has been at HMRC for over three decades and was previously second permanent secretary and deputy chief executive, the latter role he took up in November 2017. He was second permanent secretary since January 2018, and previously held the dual role of tax assurance commissioner and director general customer strategy and tax design in HMRC.

He began his career in the Inland Revenue, predecessor to HMRC, as an inspector of taxes in 1984. By January 2009, he was appointed director of corporation tax and VAT, responsible for optimising the design and delivery of these business taxes. He became director of personal tax customer operations in March 2011, and director of personal tax operations in October 2011. He was appointed director general for business tax in April 2012.

Sir Mark Sedwill said: ‘As chief executive and first permanent secretary, Jim will continue building on the excellent work he has already set in motion at HMRC. I know that he will provide strong leadership to one of the biggest departments in the Civil Service, and his appointment reflects not only the huge contribution to public service he has made to date, but also the wealth of departmental knowledge he will bring to the role.

Chancellor Sajid Javid said: ‘I’ve worked closely with Jim as we have prepared Britain for Brexit, and his experience and expertise mean he’s the right person to lead HMRC at this crucial time.

Harra said: ‘I’m thrilled to take on the role of HMRC’s chief executive and first permanent secretary, particularly at such a critical time. I have a deep respect for colleagues within this department and am proud that they are recognised as among the best in government. I’m very much looking forward to tackling the challenges and opportunities that we’ll face, together, including continuing our progress towards making HMRC the best tax and customs authority in the world.

This appointment has been made by the Prime Minister with the agreement of the Chancellor for the Exchequer and Cabinet Secretary. It follows an internal recruitment exercise.

Arrangements to appoint a successor as second permanent secretary will be announced in due course, HMRC confirmed.

Sara White

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