Your business phone rings, you pick it up. It may be a potential order, or a current customer wanting to amend their order. Simple in theory. Very complicated in practice for HMRC.
It has recently been reported by The Telegraph that HMRC, during the financial year 2017/18, didn’t answer a taxpayers’ call 10% of the time. It certainly doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the service that taxpayers are paying for.
It is troubling when you consider the large projects that are currently taking up HMRC’s time. The move towards Making Tax Digital, the large working group preparing for whatever kind of exit that is negotiated from the European Union, to name but two. If, ultimately, they cannot serve the very people that pay for them, it is troubling.
They need to ensure that customer service is at the heart of everything they do; helping them pay the right amount of tax, easing concern over a potential tax issue etc. Take February of this year; over 14% of calls were answered after ten minutes. We’d suggest that HMRC have a larger cohort of telephone advisers.
But what can you do about it? Well, you could engage with an accountant who likes tax, who’ll deal with it for you, and get your return in early.