HMRC closes self-assessment helpline for summer

Industry News - 11th July 2023

HMRC has closed its self-assessment helpline over the summer and plans to re-open on 4 September 2023. The closure is part of a trial to direct self-assessment queries from the telephone helpline to HMRC’s digital services, including online guidance, digital assistant and webchat. 

According to HMRC, this move has been planned for a ‘quiet’ time for self-assessment queries and the helpline will re-open on 4 September 2023 so that taxpayers can receive support in the five months running up to the self-assessment deadline on 31 January 2024.

HMRC says that the helpline receives far fewer calls over the summer, with calls around 50% higher between January and April compared with June to August. It remains to be seen what the impact of the closure will be, but this is likely to result in significant disruption for taxpayers.

The Chair of the Treasury Committee, Harriett Baldwin MP, said:

‘Given the potentially significant impact closing the self-assessment helpline may have on taxpayers, we’re looking for clarification that HMRC has fully considered the costs and benefits of this decision.

There are also concerns around the short notice with which this was announced. HMRC must be open, upfront and transparent when making decisions which could impact so many individuals.’

HMRC has stressed that this trial will free up 350 advisers (full-time equivalent) to take urgent calls on other lines and answer customer correspondence. It has stated that the vast majority of self-assessment taxpayers use HMRC’s online services, with 97% filing online.

Please contact us with your self-assessment queries.

Internet link: HMRC news

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