Tax Helpline – A Quarter of Tax Helpline Calls Go Unanswered

Tax helpline – around a quarter of all taxpayers calls to HMRC help lines go answered, with no guidelines being in place to advise callers how long they may have to wait.

Exchequer secretary David Gauke said that HMRC did not have a target time for answering telephone calls.

He added:” HMRC uses a variety of measures to assess the accessibility of telephone services, which include the percentage of call attempts handled by its contact centres.”

“In 2011/12, HMRC has significantly improved the number of call attempts handled to 74% (compared to the 48% in the previous year).”

0845 numbers at HMRC are automatically answered by a recorded voice message which causes callers to be charged. Often a number of options are given, with customers being placed on hold frequently, which often causes frustration and calls to be ended.

Ricky Steedman