HMRC to close phone lines

Posted on 25 Mar 2024
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HMRC to close phone lines every year for six months

HMRC has decided to close its phone lines over the summer every year after a trial run last year. Over the period - from April 8 until September 29 - taxpayers will be unable to call the tax office for help with their tax return. The tax office said these measures will be repeated every year to allow “helpline advisers to focus support where it is most needed.” Commenting on the scheme last year, chair of the Treasury Select Committee Harriett Baldwin said the change “should not be forced upon taxpayers until there is evidence that people know how to do their taxes on HMRC’s incredibly complex website.” Elsewhere, the Chartered Institute for Taxation’s Gary Ashford called the decision “misguided” pointing out that HMRC had failed to conclude from its own evaluation that there had been a long-term shift from phone contact to online self-service. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales described the move as “disappointing” while Victoria Todd, of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, said it would lead to more errors and non-compliance “storing up problems for taxpayers and HMRC further down the line.”

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