HMRC Trials Intelligent Text Messaging With Taxpayers
Some may get stuck in a loop of doom ...
Posted by Roger Eddowes on 30/01/2023 @ 8:00AM
HMRC is testing out a new system to help individual taxpayers with their enquiries. By sending SMS messages to mobile phones with keywords in the description of their query, people can get directed to the right online services and guidance ...
I think HMRC needs to be prepared to pause or stop the trial if needs be!
As of the 19th of January 2023, when someone calls their helplines from a mobile phone, they will be directed in one of three ways. They will either receive an SMS with the relevant information, be offered the option of receiving an SMS, or continue to hold for an adviser.
"Some are worried that taxpayers could get stuck in a loop of doom and never get through to an HMRC adviser!"
The SMS messages will include a range of topics such as finding one's unique taxpayer reference, help with registering for HMRC online services, questions about registering for self-assessment, requesting income and employment history, and help filling out a tax return.
Although HMRC believes that the technology can accurately detect when an SMS is appropriate, there is a risk that those who need extra assistance do not get through to an adviser if they use the wrong keywords.
HMRC has not been able to confirm if it can recognise calls from basic mobile phones with no internet connection. Furthermore, if a person does not get the response they need from the SMS, they may have to call back from a landline and word their query differently to talk to an adviser.
I do welcome HMRC's attempt to use innovative solutions to their customer service issues, but I'm equally concerned that this trial will make it difficult for individuals to get the help they need.
I think HMRC needs to be prepared to pause or stop the trial if needs be.
Until next time ...
ROGER EDDOWES Business Godparent
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about HMRC and their intelligent text messaging trial, it may be a great idea to call me on 01908 774320 and let's see how I can help you.
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Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.
Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.
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