HMRC Restrict Helpline

by | Dec 8, 2023 | 0 comments

HMRC Restrict Self-Assessment Helpline Access in Run-Up to Tax Filing Deadline – Smarter News 08/12/2023

Ever tried calling HMRC to discuss tax matters? If so, like us, you probably know the HMRC hold music off by heart and have experienced the roller coaster of emotion as it stops suddenly and a voice cuts in, only to realise its yet another message telling you how you can do everything you could ever want online. It is a frustrating and time-consuming thing nowadays to get through to a human being at HMRC. As agents, we were spared the pain in the past as we use a different number called the Agent Dedicated Line. However, since COVID, the average wait on this line is 30+ minutes too.

Over the last year or so, HMRC have announced various shutdowns and limitations to its phone lines for Self-Assessment (and other taxes). It was only September when HMRC re-opened helplines fully after a 3 month ‘summer break’. Yesterday HMRC announced that its helplines are being restricted to priority, i.e. complex, cases again from Monday 11th December, giving less than 2 working days notice. The restriction is set to last for the next 7 weeks i.e. until the January tax return filing deadline, perfect timing you might say!

HMRC, like many Government Agencies seem to be struggling with service standards and staffing. HMRC’s own post, with the announcement, talks about the virtues of its own online services to sort easy queries. However, “online” is not an option for everything or everyone. It is a worrying trend that leaves us wondering about their expected service levels going forwards. We have made representations to local MP’s in the past, and now again following this latest announcement, as this is just one of a number of issues we all face due to poor service from HMRC.

We deal with HMRC every day and these service restrictions and delays cost hours of staff time. We know, as clients, things with HMRC can be stressful and worrying for you, but with our experience and knowledge we always try to find a way, and take the stress out of it for you. If you have friends / family struggling to get a tax return completed for the end of January deadline then get them to come and see us and see what we can do.

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Best wishes, take care


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