HMRC's chief executive, Lin Homer, has announced that she is leaving her post. She is two years off retirement.

Ms Homer who was recently made a dame, leaves HMRC in a very poor state. Staff morale is extremely low, half of all phonecalls to HMRC are unanswered, and the tax gap has not fallen. 

Her policy has been to extend online services rather than provide better call centres despite the fact that local offices have closed. There is ongoing objection to quarterly reporting by the self employed.

Dame Margaret Hodge, the former chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, who cross examined Ms Homer on numerous occaisions in relation to her role at HMRC has pointed out that Ms Homer's legacy in her previous departments the UK Border Agency and Transport was no better: only she managed to leave before their failings were found out.

HMRC's previous head, the well dined Dave Hartnett left under a shadow after he gave multinationals special "sweetheart deals". 

With the exception of the PAC, it appears that the majority of MPs do not have sufficient interest in HMRC to force any change within the department. Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Galke appears to have been an exception, in finally putting on pressure to end the Hartnett era and make HMRC get tougher on tax avoidance, however he is backing digital changes at HMRC. These will leave it with fewer than 20 offices by 2027, and this is at the heart of the lack of staff morale. 

What should interest MPs is the fact that major appointments such as chief executive are made with the recommendation of senior civil servants. In Homer's case, it seems extraordinary that she was given the job at HMRC when it was by then clear that she had messed up at least one department.