HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Hanging On The Telephone - Single Line Opened



Good news everyone!

Those of you who are agents, who are fed up with hanging on the telephone trying to get through to HMRC will have to wait no longer.

HMRC are to introduce a single telephone number for agents to call.

Agents can now call 0845 366 7855 for tax and self assessment enquiries.

There is a separate Agent Priority Line for Tax Credits - 0845 300 3943



Brian Redford, head of HMRC's Business Engagement Team, told AIA:

"Agents told us that they wanted us make it easier to contact HMRC and wanted a single helpline. So we have reduced the number of Agent Dedicated Lines from twelve to just one.

This will give agents access to the same number of experienced staff who can answer their queries, but without having to decide which regional ADL was relevant to their clients.
"

Problem solved!

Please can agents fill me in with their real world experience of using these new lines?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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17 comments:

  1. Mmmmmm Ken,

    I hope this "Special" line for agents is not just there to entrap people giving advice to others to avoid tax, so that HMRC can fine them.....I wouldn't put it past them;-)

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  2. Maybe the Telegraph could test it first.

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  3. Is this the same agent dedicated SA/PAYE line I've been answering for nigh on a year? New indeed.

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  4. and now the numbers been broadcast your normal taxpayer will be ringing it so the service will severely slow down.

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  5. Why is a dedicated line needed?

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  6. I would be interested in Ken's comments over the whole precept of a dedicated agent line.

    Is it really fair for HMRC to provide a better service to those taxpayers that can afford private agents over the rank and file taxpayer than cannot?

    Surely HMRC should be providing the same level of service to all taxpayers regardless of social standing or level of income?

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  7. The reason that it is supplied is I think, because the agents charge clients for telephone calls (quite often charge higher than the cost of the call) and the length of the calls (certainly some do). Also agents quite often call with multiple clients. In my experience, when I was with the revenue a lot of agents don't use them and quite a lot refused to take them, one agent said to me 'It's better for me to queue in the public line ... if you know what I mean' obviously so they can bill that little bit more.
    If the public call on the ADL line they are asked to redial. It was the only line which was really 'enforced' registered agent/accountants only.

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  8. 4 June 2010 23:10

    Seeing as the only reason I had to call HMRC recently was because their online system crashed, I may just put a couple of hours under 'misc' on my next tax return to cover the time wasted.

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  9. "If the public call on the ADL line they are asked to redial."

    In our CC we're not allowed to that, we have to deal with the query.

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  10. Anon 22.08

    I think that notion went out years ago. Didn't we once have a "taxpayers' charter"? I haven't seen it mentioned since self-assessment began.

    It seems all taxpayers are not equal. Private Eye regularly reveals special treatment of high-income groups and non-doms. MPs and celebrities won't need to file online, as it's not secure enough. Do any litigious taxpayers fancy taking on HMRC under non-discrimination laws?

    Anon

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  11. Since HMRC contact centres became "virtual" There has never been any problems with the current telephone numbers as taxpayers, employers or agents are put through to the next available advisor in the country no matter which tax office deals with their details. This resulting in 1 number required for each line of business.

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  12. "If the public call on the ADL line they are asked to redial."

    In our CC we're not allowed to that, we have to deal with the query.

    5 June 2010 16:35


    Naughty! Naughty! Some CC is not following the Security CTP.

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  13. "The reason that it is supplied is I think, because the agents charge clients for telephone calls "

    If ony that were true. The reason it was introdued was after complaints from agents over having to queue on the "public" line.

    Agents also have priority to speak to technical advisor. A self employed indivdual trying to do a tax return themselves will be offered a call back in 3 days at a non specific time. An agent will most likely get a technical advisor straight away as there is a reserved resource for them.

    A scandalous two tier service for the more well off.

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  14. It seems all taxpayers are not equal. Private Eye regularly reveals special treatment of high-income groups and non-doms. MPs and celebrities won't need to file online, as it's not secure enough. Do any litigious taxpayers fancy taking on HMRC under non-discrimination laws?

    Hmm.

    The reason for MP's/Celebs not being able to file online is because the online service is unable to access their records due to them being in a secure data area in HMRC.

    This has been the case for donkeys years it's only become apparent because of the requirement to file online. thing that has been part of parliament. It also makes attempts by unscrupulous press journalists to break the official secrets acts unsuccessful and therefore less likely. (YES..... EVERYONE IS BOUND BY THE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU'VE 'SIGNED' IT OR NOT - CIVIL SERVANTS ONLY 'SIGN' IT TO SHOW THEY'VE UNDERSTOOD IT AND THEREFORE HELD TO BE MORE CULPABLE FOR BREAKING IT)

    Some religious groups also have the right not to have to file online because of their beliefs.

    Re the Celebrities There was a story in the times that said this "Under the elite system, staff working at HMRC who snoop into the tax files of celebrities or MPs are instantly identified by an automatic warning signal and subject to disciplinary action — usually dismissal. The alerts are only connected to the accounts of well known figures, and not members of the public."

    This is no different to any organisation that has access to peoples personal/financial details - to stop 'browsing'. However celebs are still able to file online.

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  15. Agents shouldnt feel to special, this is also going to happen to Joe Public too. There will be only 1 number for PAYE enquires and 1 number fo Self assessment enquiries. Common Sense finally filtered its way to the top!!

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. .. I meant too special (not to)
    ADLs are staffed with advisors who have dealt with taxes for at least a year. This is needed so that the odd really nasty accountant with years of experience and an axe to grind dont shred a poor advisor who has literally been on the job for a couple of weeks.
    The vast majority of agents are totally professional and polite when they call its just the odd one who is vile.

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