Taxpayers Can’t Reach HMRC on Hotline

December 15, 2014 Taxation in UK

LONDON – With the approach of the deadline of the UK’s self-assessment tax returns, attention has been drawn to the inadequacies of the HMRC’s call-centers.

The HM revenue and Customs’ call center facilities are inadequate and result in too many cut-off phone calls and excessive waiting times, according to new information issued over the weekend by the UK-based consumer advocacy group Which?.

The experts of Which? made 100 separate calls to the HMRC to pose questions which would often be asked by individual taxpayers, and during the calls, records were made of how long the waiting time was, and how well the system responded to requests.

In 29 percent of cases, the automated telephone systems of the HMRC cut off the callers without giving them an opportunity to speak to a representative on the HMRC.

In the 71 percent of cases where the caller reached a represented, the average waiting time was 18 minutes, and in one case, the caller waited 41 minutes on hold.

Commenting on the findings, the executive director of Which? Richard Lloyd said that the long waiting times are particularly troubling because the UK is coming up to the deadline for the submissions of self-assessment tax returns, which are due on January 31st.

Photo By: Frédéric BISSON