STAFF at Accrington’s tax office are facing an uncertain future after bosses announced it would close by next year.
The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) office, based at Castle House, on Eastgate, is one of 130 offices set to close by March next year as part of a restructuring move.
The office employs 80 staff, who heard the devastating announcement last Wednesday morning.
One staff member, who did not wish to be named, said: "When they told us everyone was just really shocked.
"If there are any offices to move to, it may mean people having to travel out of the area to places like Manchester or Preston.
"Some people may be redeployed, but in some cases there may be nowhere for people to be moved to."
It is understood that workers have been sent letters outlining a number of possible options.
These include taking voluntary severance or early retirement, as well as being redeployed to other offices.
The move has also prompted an angry response from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union which has urged HMRC bosses to reconsider.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "Access to tax advice in communities across the UK will be damaged by the confirmation of these closures, which will hit businesses and the public, as well as taking quality jobs out of local communities during a recession.
"It is no coincidence that as HMRC staff have been cut, the amount of uncollected tax written off as doubtful has nearly doubled.
"There is over £130billion which is uncollected, evaded and avoided, which could go towards closing the public deficit.
"Closing offices and slashing jobs makes no economic sense and will do nothing to help the recovery. Rather than cuts, the government should be investing to recoup the lost billions in tax."
A spokesman for HMRC said: "I can confirm that our office at Castle House in Eastgate will close during 2010/11, but can’t at this stage be more specific on the timescale.
"The public enquiry centre will however remain either there or at a location close by.
"This is not a new announcement.
"The decision was made after an exhaustive review, the decisions on which were announced in February 2008."