HMRC – it’s not you, it’s them
For many people, the fact that they need to call HM Revenue and Customs is a worry in itself, especially when it is as a result of a mistake or a query which could cost them money. So for those who have been trying to get in touch with the tax man but have found it increasingly frustrating to be kept on hold for extended periods of time, it might come as a relief to know that HMRC have acknowledged that their call-handling capacity has been inadequate.
This week has seen an announcement that there will be a £45 million investment in improving the situation, including the hiring of more staff and the reorganisation of their business areas in order to allow them to focus more on those who are trying to get in touch with them.
Lin Homer, the Chief Executive of HMRC, believes that an additional 3,000 staff joining the customer service teams and 2,000 new members of the tax credits team will make a huge difference to the experience that users have when they contact the department. The additional investment in IT has also been cited as one of the ways in which HMRC hope to offer more effective support in the run-up to the tax credits deadline on the 31st July.
Ms Homer has apologised to those who have been on the receiving end of sub-standard service so far, particularly the 2.4 million calls which reportedly went unanswered in September 2014 – a third of the total calls that the taxman received during that period. Given that the department has a target of answering 80 per cent of all the calls, this has been a shortfall which has not gone unnoticed by tax payers who have found themselves unable to get advice or information.
Ms Homer believes that a combination of investment and reorganisation will solve the problems that they have faced this year and enable them to provide a more consistent and efficient service.
Those who have questions about contractor tax could learn plenty from our specially designed guides. We have covered everything from the Flat Rate VAT Scheme to our guide to IR35 so you can get an idea of how they might apply to you.
If you are considering self employment, but are worried about having to deal with HMRC, then our accountants can do all of that for you, and more. Call us today on 01442 275789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.