“This is another extreme measure from HMRC to achieve a shift from telephone and post to online services, and we are likely to see further moves in the future. Unfortunately, the announcement is lacking in the necessary detail, so taxpayers and agents calling HMRC will be left guessing whether their query will be dealt with or if they will be directed online and sent a text message. Callers may even get through to an adviser who declines to deal with their query and directs them to online services.
“If HMRC does not achieve the shift to online services that it is seeking, we can expect a further deterioration in service levels. The Autumn Statement confirmed that HMRC’s budget will be cut by £1bn for 2024/25 and many will see today’s news as a partial closure of the self assessment helpline at the time it is most needed.”
Notes to editors:
CONTACT: ICAEW media office email@example.com or 07970 402 073