08 June 2023
Commenting on HMRC’s plan to trial a seasonal Self-assessment Helpline from Monday 12th June 2023, Chris Etherington, private client tax partner at RSM UK, said: ‘The closure of HMRC’s Self-Assessment helpline will come as an unwelcome shock to many taxpayers and could be a short-sighted move.
‘HMRC already struggles to deal with the level of phone calls that come through in the winter ahead of the 31 January deadline, and this could make the problem worse. If taxpayers can’t get answers to their queries over the summer months, they may push these back until later in the year and pile more pressure onto the phone lines then. A bleak winter could lie in wait for taxpayers with even longer waiting times.
‘It also leaves those taxpayers who are due to make tax payments on 31 July 2023 with no means of contacting HMRC on the phone to deal with any queries they might have. This move also discriminates against a section of society who are digitally excluded, and their only alternative is to wait for the phones to open again, or write a letter that may not be dealt with for months.’