Stewart Associates (Shrewsbury) Ltd
Emstrey House (North), Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6LG.

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17 December 2015

Phoning HMRC (courtesy of a newspaper article)

Calls to the Taxman take more than half an hour to be answered and more than an hour in the evening, an investigation found. More than 100 calls to HM Revenue and Customs' self-assessment and general inquiries helplines were made by Which between September and early October. On average, researchers waited 38 minutes to speak to someone - more than double the time it took during similar research last year. One in five calls was not answered within an hour. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: 'With many people soon to be seeking advice on their self-assessment tax return, HMRC must continue to work hard to improve customer service and reduce call-waiting times.' The deadline for self-assessment tax returns is January 31st. Last month, the Public Accounts Committee called HMRC's poor level of customer service 'a genuine threat to tax collection'. In the past year the HMRC phone system changed to allow people to hold for longer rather than get cut off and 3000 extra staff were hired. HMRC said the Which figures were 'out of date' and average queue times were now around six minutes. It said extra staff would be answering calls up to the deadline.


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