It seems that it not just "Joe Public" who has trouble getting through to HMRC, even professional tax advisers are having problems.
The FT reports that Sue Moore, associate director for Baker Tilly Tax and Accounting, has been struggling to get hold of anyone at HMRC.
"We're having difficulties when dealing with the HMRC. It would seem that most offices are eight weeks behind dealing with post. When you telephone it is just the call centre and if you want to speak to somebody actually dealing with the case, that is almost impossible. All this was before the cuts in the department spending.
Everybody is affected by the delay. Issues take longer to resolve and cost the clients more in professional fees as we have to keep chasing HMRC. Working on a case is very inefficient as we have to pick up the threads of the case after several months' delay."
Still, at least they make some money out of the extra time spent chasing HMRC; a portion of this extra revenue then goes as tax to HMRC.
Everyone's a winner, except for the hapless taxpayer!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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