As loyal readers are only too well aware, HMRC's telephone service standards are often the cause of some robust discussions on this site (eg this post).
However, this is not the only site that vexes lyrical about HMRC's telephone service. The ICAEW Tax Faculty is also unimpressed, and was moved to publish a report at the end of July entitled "HMRC Telephone Service Standards".
The key points being:
- Waiting times are still too long. HMRC needs to ensure that sufficient numbers of staff are available to take telephone calls.
- Introductory messages and menus are too long and over-complicated.
- More agent-only lines are needed.
- Performance measures are required and should be published.
- HMRC needs to do more to get things right first time in order to reduce the need for further telephone contact.
- HMRC needs to make better use of IT to help it provide a more efficient service again reducing the need for telephone contact.
I wonder as to whether HMRC will take this on board and do something with it?
The ICAEW are hopeful, apparently.
They had meeting recently with Lin Homer:
"We and the other professional bodies had a recent meeting with Lin Homer, HMRC’s new Chief Executive. We discussed these matters and it was good to see that Lin was personally committed to improving performance in this area.Problem solved!
We shall see whether she is able to translate that commitment into action to bring about the improvements needed."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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