HMRC's Decision To Close Tax Return Helpline Is Unbelievable
Their customer service is already questionable ...
Posted by Roger Eddowes on 02/01/2024 @ 8:00AM
Filing a self-assessment tax return is a daunting task, especially for those who are doing it for the first time. That's why the news of HMRC's decision to close their tax return helpline ahead of the January deadline is shocking ...
HMRC's decision is causing frustration and confusion for thousands of taxpayers!
According to HMRC's own data, around 1.2 million out of 5.5 million calls to their advisors are made in the eight weeks leading up to the January deadline. This shows just how vital this helpline is for taxpayers who are seeking guidance and support with their tax returns.
"Yet, HMRC has chosen to close it down, citing that only 'priority' calls will be answered!"
This decision has left many taxpayers, particularly the elderly who may not be as tech-savvy, feeling abandoned and confused. The helpline was often their primary source of assistance, and now they are being directed to the internet, which may not be accessible or user-friendly for everyone.
Furthermore, the timing of this decision is questionable. Now, we're post-pandemic and with a lot of economic uncertainty right now, the last thing taxpayers need is added stress and confusion when it comes to filing their tax returns. The closure of the helpline is likely to result in longer waiting times for those who do manage to get through, leading to potential fines for late submissions.
It's not just taxpayers who will be affected by this decision. Accountants and tax professionals also rely on the helpline for clarification on complex tax matters. Without this support, their workload is likely to increase, and we may struggle to meet our clients' needs in a timely manner!
HMRC's reasoning for closing the helpline is to focus on 'priority' calls, but this raises the question of what constitutes a priority call. Will those who are struggling with their tax returns not be considered a priority? And what about those who do not have access to the internet or are not comfortable using it? This decision seems to disregard the needs of a significant portion of the population.
The closure of the helpline also highlights a larger issue with HMRC's customer service. The average waiting time to speak to an advisor is already around 22 to 25 minutes, and now with the closure of the helpline, this is likely to increase. This is not acceptable, and HMRC needs to address this issue and improve their customer service to better support taxpayers.
"HMRC's decision is causing frustration and confusion for thousands of taxpayers!"
It is a move that seems to disregard the needs of the population and highlights larger issues with HMRC's customer service. As an Accountant, I urge HMRC to reconsider this decision and provide the necessary support and guidance for taxpayers during this challenging time.
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's decision to close the tax return helpline or need help with your own tax return, 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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