HMRC to receive extra £51 million in phone funding

14 May 2024

The government has announced an extra £51 million in new funding to bring HMRC's phoneline service back up to the published target of 85% of calls to its advisers being answered.

Last year, 75% of people who phoned HMRC had to wait an average 24 minutes for anyone to answer with 650,000 calls abandoned before they were answered.

In response, HMRC told the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee that it did not have the resources to meet rising demand for its phone services.

The extra funding was confirmed in a written statement from Nigel Huddleston MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury.

Victoria Todd, Head of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), said: 'The government is right to give HMRC extra resources to better manage demand for its telephone helplines.

'We hope this will mean that taxpayers can have greater confidence that their queries will be answered, and they can continue to comply with their tax responsibilities.

'Moving more taxpayers online is a laudable aim, but more work is needed to improve HMRC's digital services to support that shift. It is likely going to take HMRC some time to deploy this additional resource, meaning things may get worse before they get better.

'In the longer term, funding to maintain customer service levels by phone and post needs to continue until such time as HMRC's digital services are good enough to give taxpayers who can use them the support they need.'

 

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