HMRC Will Keep Tax Helpline Closed For Half Year

Taxpayers seeking assistance with their tax returns will be directed towards a chatbot and online services for half of the year as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) prepares to shut down its self-assessment telephone helpline from April 8 to September 30.

The decision comes amid ongoing challenges faced by the tax authority, including prolonged waiting times and widespread criticism of its services. During the closure period, the helpline will only handle priority cases, while individuals unable to access online services will receive assistance from staff during office hours, although the operational details remain unclear.

The move, which follows a trial conducted last year, has already drawn criticism from trade bodies, which argue that it may lead to an increase in errors on tax returns.

Each year, more than 12 million people are obligated to complete self-assessment forms, making efficient support services crucial.

HMRC has been actively promoting the transition to online services to streamline enquiries, with initiatives such as automatic call redirection. The closure of the helpline for six months aligns with efforts to prioritize digital channels, especially with the self-assessment deadline approaching in January.

Key changes include:

– The self-assessment helpline operating for only half of the year, focusing primarily on priority cases for the remainder.
– The VAT helpline will have limited operation, open for five business days per month before the VAT returns deadline.
– The PAYE helpline will cease handling customer calls related to refunds.

Michael Manua
Michael Manua
Michael, a seasoned market news expert with 29 years of experience, offers unparalleled insights into financial markets. At 61, he has a track record of providing accurate, impactful analyses, making him a trusted voice in financial journalism.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x