HMRC halts helpline closures

21 Mar 2024

HMRC has halted its plans to restrict taxpayer helplines and direct people to online services instead.

The tax authority had announced that it was closing its self assessment helpline for six months every year. It was also restricting the opening times of its VAT helpline and the usage of its PAYE helpline.

HMRC says it is halting these plans 'in response to the feedback while it engages with its stakeholders about how to ensure all taxpayers' needs'.

HMRC Chief Executive Jim Harra 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.'

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