HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced job losses of up to 2500 in Scotland as it looks to build two new tax centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Over the next five years the government agency will close 12 Scottish sites, thought to be in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

These will be replaced by two new regional centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh, at sites still to be named, that would open by 2019 and 2020.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), said: "No one should be in any doubt that, if implemented, these proposals would be absolutely devastating for HMRC and the people who work there.

"Closing this many offices would pose a significant threat to the operation of HMRC, its service to the public and the working lives of staff, and the need for parliamentary scrutiny of the plans is undeniable and urgent."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is seeking talks with the UK Government over the planned closures.

She told MSPs at Holyrood: "This afternoon I will be seeking urgent talks with the UK Government about the announcement being made today by HMRC which would appear to put significant numbers of jobs in Scotland at risk."

HMRC’s workforce in Scotland is currently based in 18 offices ranging in size from around 1800 people to fewer than five.

The tax office says it plans to bring them together with between 2300 and 2600 full-time equivalent employees to work in the Edinburgh regional centre and between 3400 and 3700 full-time equivalent employees to work in the Glasgow centre.

HMRC will close most of its existing offices in Scotland by 2020-21, as it moves most employees into the new regional centres.

Lin Homer, HMRC’s Chief Executive, said: “HMRC is committed to modern, regional centres serving every region and nation in the UK, with skilled and varied jobs and development opportunities, while also ensuring jobs are spread throughout the UK and not concentrated in the capital.

“HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and outdated offices. This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise our ways of working, and make the changes we need to transform our service to customers and clamp down further on the minority who try to cheat the system.

“The new regional centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh will bring our staff together in more modern and cost-effective buildings in areas with lower rents. They will also make a big contribution to the Scottish economy, providing high-quality, skilled jobs and supporting the Government’s commitment to a national recovery that benefits all parts of the UK.”

The moves are part of a wider cost cutting modernisation programme.

In the west of Scotland, the Cumbernauld, East Kilbride and both Glasgow offices will move to the new Glasgow regional centre.

HMRC will maintain an office at the Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh.

Since 2010, more than 10,000 jobs have been cut from the department and 250 offices have closed, plus the network of 281 walk-in tax enquiry centres.