3.2m pay too much tax

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 HMRC call delays may mean 3.2m paid wrong tax

Call waiting times at HMRC tripled to 47 minutes last October as it shed too many customer service staff when rolling out its digital strategy, the NAO has said. In order to improve call centre performance HMRC had to move 2,400 staff from maintaining PAYE records which in turn meant they had to defer essential work to maintain the records. This meant that the number of discrepancies between PAYE and self-assessment returns doubled, leaving a risk that 3.2m people had paid the wrong amount of tax, the NAO found. Frank Haskew, head of the tax faculty at the ICAEW, said: “Taxpayers have been short changed by poor service standards at HMRC’s call centres. The ability to get through to the right person quickly to resolve queries has been a major concern for some years now.” Ruth Owen, HMRC"s director general for customer services, said: "We recognise that early in 2015 we didn"t provide the standard of service that people are entitled to expect and we apologised at the time. We have since fully recovered and are now offering our best service levels in years.”

Source: The Daily Telegraph    

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