HMRC’s Employer helpline – can you get through?

The Tax Faculty has received some reports that HMRC’s Employer helpline Tel: 0300 200 3200 is proving difficult to get through to, with unacceptable, lengthy delays before calls are answered. We have also heard feedback that sometimes a recorded message announces that the lines are too busy, instructs the caller to try again another time and then the call is disconnected.

We are interested to find out if this problem is widespread, particularly as RTI can generate high volumes of calls to HMRC’s Employer helpline.

Please let us know what your experience has been when you called the Employer helpline in recent months, providing:

·        an outline of the problem you were calling about

·        how long it took for your call to be answered

·        was your call disconnected because the lines were busy

·        whether you were happy with how the call was handled, and

·        if your issue was resolved satisfactorily

Please post a comment below.
Your feedback is valuable and allows us to provide vital evidence to HMRC where we believe their service standards need to be improved.
In our TAXREP 32/14 HMRC Telephone Service Standards, submitted to HMRC in May, we recommended an Agent Dedicated Line for PAYE Employer queries.
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  • Most calls take 20 minutes to be answered. About 25% of calls are terminated (after more than three minutes of various messages) because HMRC are "too busy".

    I'm far from happy with how the calls are answered.
  • Just spent 22 minutes getting through and was then passed to a HMRC colleague.

    At this stage it had taken 31 minutes.

    Information given was contrary to the information given to the employer on the same number.
    I really have no idea what to do now and the latest information means we will have to spend some considerable amount of time trying to sort it out

  • I find that the only time I can get through is on a Saturday. I have tried on numerous occasions on Mondays through Fridays only to hang up in sheer frustration after some 20 or 30 minutes of listening to maddening messages about how I can resolve my problems by referring to the online help pages. The helpline is simply not fit for purpose.
  • My experience has been similarly frustrating at times.  Surely, however, HMRC themselves know how long the queues are and whether there is therefore a problem, or is this something that only commercial organisations bother to measure.  The trouble is that HMRC only consider what is the most convenient and cheapest way of running so far as they are concerned, without any worry about the cost to others of hanging on the phone.  Still Civil when you speak to someone, but hardly a Service.
  • I have spent over 5 hrs waiting on the phone  in the last month trying to resolve two clients problems that had been caused by HMRC in the first place. I tried different days and different times on several occasions the phone call was just terminated. The longest I was on hold for was 37 mins . Even when I got through they could not help me ,three times they told me to phone the online help desk who then said it was not their department and to go back to the employers helpline . Even then I  was on hold to the online help desk for at least 15 mins.
    I was told a variety of things to do to correct the problem ,all of which was HMRC fault ,but they could not correct it.
    I was told to do an early year update form, a dispute resolution report all of which did not work .

    HMRC are still chasing my clients and they have now had two letters from debt management .

    Finally a very kind lady answered the phone and said she would raise an investigation in to the matter. She could not tell me how long it would be before she got back to me , but said it would be several months . She would not put anything in writing to confirm the issue or how it was going to be resolved . And still my clients get the chasing letters from debt management and when I phoned them up they told me that not only did my clients owe  these amounts ( £225 and £176 ) that both of them had £800 accrued penalties .