HMRC has announced that they will be closing their self assessment helpline to most callers, they said that only “priority” calls will be answered in the eight weeks running up to 31 January 2024 for the deadline of tax returns to be filed.
HMRC’s own data shows that almost a quarter of calls to their advisors, 1.2 million out of 5,5 million are made in this period.
Bradley Post, MD of RIFT, said, “Submitting a self assessment can be a daunting task, particularly for those who are undertaking it for the first time.
For many, the HMRC helpline would have been their primary source of advice and support and it’s bad enough that they were already being subject to waiting times of around 22 to 25 minutes before getting through to someone.
“However, a lengthy wait on hold is certainly better than nothing and the move to close the helpline just weeks before the January tax deadline is quite frankly an unbelievable one.
“It’s a decision that is likely to impact thousands, particularly the elderly who want to talk to a person, rather than being pointed to the internet.
“We can expect the number of fines issued due to late submissions to climb this year as a result, which is the last thing anyone needs in the current climate.