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HMRC helpline changes halted

Changes to HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) helpline services are being halted while it considers how best to help taxpayers harness online services.

HMRC announced changes to its helpline services recently (19 March 2024) to encourage people to go online first, following trials over the last year.

HMRC is now halting its plans in response to the feedback while it engages with its stakeholders about how to ensure all taxpayers’ needs – including small businesses – are met as HMRC shifts more people to online self-service in the longer term.

HMRC Chief Executive Jim Harra recently said:

Making best use of online services allows HMRC to help more taxpayers and get the most out of every pound of taxpayers’ money by boosting productivity.

Our helpline and webchat advisers will always be there for those taxpayers who need support because they are vulnerable, digitally excluded or have complex affairs.

However the pace of this change needs to match the public appetite for managing their tax affairs online.

We’ve listened to the feedback and we’re halting the helpline changes as we recognise more needs to be done to ensure all taxpayers’ needs are met, whilst also encouraging them to transition to online services.

The changes to the Self Assessment, VAT and PAYE helplines announced by HMRC will all be halted while HMRC engages with stakeholders. This means the phone lines will remain open between April and September.

HMRC will continue encouraging customers to self-serve where possible and access the information they need more quickly and easily by going online or to the HMRC app, which is available 24/7.

Those using HMRC’s online services rate them highly, with over 80% satisfaction ratings. The HMRC app is used by 1.2 million customers each month and has a 4.8 out of 5 rating on the Apple App Store.

HMRC’s online guidance includes written guidance, recorded webinars, You Tube videos and a Digital Assistant. These can answer most customer queries, and if they do not, customers have access to HMRC advisers online, through webchat.


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