HM Revenue & Customs has appointed Jim Harra as its chief executive and first permanent secretary. Harra succeeds Jon Thompson who earlier this month took up his position as the chief executive of the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

Harra previously served as the second permanent secretary at HMRC and had been covering the role of chief executive and first permanent secretary on an interim basis following Thompson’s departure.

Before becoming second permanent secretary, Harra held the dual role of tax assurance commissioner and director general customer strategy and tax design at HMRC.

The appointment of Harra was approved by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson with the agreement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid and cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill following an internal recruitment exercise.

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.”

Javid said: “I’m delighted that Jim Harra has been appointed as chief executive and permanent secretary of HM Revenue and Customs. 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 commented: “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.”