UHY Ross Brooke Chartered Accountants

HMRC Secures £51 Million to Improve Helpline Services

tax advice if HMRC helpline is no good

HMRC has received a £51 million boost from the Treasury to improve its helpline services. This funding will help HMRC meet and exceed its service targets, addressing recent challenges.

This funding comes after HMRC considered cutting critical support lines for taxpayer self-assessment, VAT, and PAYE. Following backlash from stakeholders, these plans were scrapped, highlighting the importance of these services.

HMRC helplines have struggled due to limited funding and increased demand, especially with more complex tax scenarios. Angela MacDonald from HMRC cited budget cuts from the 2021 spending review as a major issue in maintaining customer support.

Balancing Digital and Traditional Services

HMRC Chief Executive Jim Harra said the funding would improve helpline services, especially for vulnerable and digitally excluded people. Despite a push towards digital services, HMRC will continue to support those who need to speak directly with an agent.

The Treasury noted that HMRC’s budget has increased by £900 million over five years, showing a commitment to both digital and traditional services.

While helplines are getting a boost, HMRC continues to promote its digital services, encouraging taxpayers to use online platforms and the HMRC app for routine tasks. This aligns with the government’s goal to streamline tax management.

This investment shows a commitment to improving taxpayer support services, addressing immediate needs and setting the stage for long-term improvements.

Community Response

Tax professionals have welcomed the funding with cautious optimism. Richard Wild from the Chartered Institute of Taxation noted that the money must be spent wisely. Helen Thornley from the Association of Taxation Technicians stressed the need to maintain phone support during the digital shift.

Caroline Miskin of ICAEW pointed out that it will take time to see improvements as HMRC needs to hire and train new staff. This funding is a step towards addressing service delays and inefficiencies, aiming for a more responsive and inclusive approach.

Next steps

For more information, visit the HMRC official website or the Treasury’s press office.

Please do get in touch with us if you require further help with your taxes, self assessment, VAT or PAYE.

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