HMRC closes self assessment helpline for six months a year

20 Mar 2024

HMRC will close its self assessment helpline for six months every year and urge taxpayers to use its online services instead.

The tax authority is also making changes to its VAT and PAYE helplines. It says the changes follow a successful trial and are now being rolled out permanently.

The self assessment helpline will now be closed from April to September every year, during these months taxpayers will be directed to online services. The self assessment helpline will open between October and March to deal with priority queries.

The VAT helpline will be open for five days every month ahead of the deadline for filing VAT returns. Outside of these days, taxpayers will be directed to use HMRC's online services.

In addition, the PAYE helpline will no longer take calls from customers relating to refunds.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC's Second Permanent Secretary and Deputy Chief Executive, said: 'Online services have transformed our lives and often provide a better service for managing tax – they're quicker, easier and always available.

'Changing our services to encourage customers to self-serve online wherever possible will allow our helpline advisers to focus support where it is most needed - helping those with complex tax queries and those who are vulnerable and need extra support.

'We must maximise every pound of taxpayers' money. Embracing online self-service allows us to help more customers and improve our customer service levels without spending additional public money.'

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