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HMRC helpline performance in 2017 - are there still issues?

Members have continued to report issues with HMRC helplines during 2016 although the statistics reported by HMRC indicate significant improvement. This feedback is invaluable in helping us to monitor this area of HMRC’s work and as evidence to support the concerns we raise.

To enable us to provide HMRC with up to date evidence of the problems that HMRC helpline performance cause our members, please post comments below to tell us about your experiences, indicating:

  • the name of the helpline
  • the telephone number
  • how long it took for your call to be answered

and if the concern is about quality:

  • an outline of the problem you were calling about
  • whether you were happy with how the call was handled
  • whether the issue was resolved satisfactorily.
  • Trying to call 0300 200 3500, is a waste of time. After answering the automated calls, I was told by the automated service that they are to busy to take my call and put the phone down. I have called this number 8 times and got the same response. How is anyone supposed to get any answers to problems, if they are not taking calls.
  • the name of the helpline: Option to tax unit
    the telephone number: 03000 530 003
    how long it took for your call to be answered: Was not answered

    I have attempted to call this number multiple times over the past 3 days. Every time I am put on hold for 10 minutes and then an automated message says that they are too busy and cannot help me. Then they hang up. I have been unable to get through to anyone.
  • Recently had several calls with HMRC Inheritance tax helpline- very long recorded initial messages and levels of menu.

    A recent example is set out below

    the name of the helpline: HMRC IHT helpline
    the telephone number: 0300 123 1072
    how long it took for your call to be answered:1st call 35 minutes unanswered. 2nd call, 25 minutes unanswered. 3rd call only 15 minutes before answer (over 2 days).

    and if the concern is about quality:
    Quality OK except it would be so much better if all technical staff gave out their direct dial line on calculations or correspondence, as in 2 or the 3 cases I was ringing in response to errors on specific tax calculations. Could have been sorted in 5 -10 minutes each, if we had direct number.

    I would also comment that delays in post with IHT office are terrible- several IHT returns submitted and not dealt with after 6 or 7 months, one nearly 12 months- no acknowledgement, nothing to show they have been received.
  • name of the helpline: IHT helpline
    tel no: 0300 123 1072
    how long it took to answer: 19/4/17 : 24 mins no reply
    20/4/17 38 mins and still on hold!

    Long message and menu at the beginning of the call further extends the waiting time.

    Entirely unacceptable.
  • Income tax Self assessment
    0300 2003310.
    Never answered: does not ring just dead air.
    Called multiple times from various phones / mobiles.