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HMRC responds to professional bodies on service standards

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Published: 05 Jul 2022 Update History

HMRC’s response to ICAEW and other professional bodies points to improvements made, albeit from a very low baseline. The performance dashboard is now live and confirms that there are continuing delays in dealing with correspondence.

ICAEW wrote (jointly with CIOT, ATT and ICAS) to HMRC on 15 June 2022, expressing members’ ongoing concerns about HMRC service standards. HMRC replied on 27 June 2022. The problems were discussed at the Representative Bodies Steering Group on 5 July and will be followed up at a subsequent meeting.

HMRC’s response says: “We aim to answer all calls to the agent dedicated line (ADL) within 10 minutes and our data shows that we rarely exceed this.”

While this is a welcome statement as far as it goes, members report that they are often kept waiting longer than ten minutes. If you are experiencing longer waits than ten minutes on the ADL, please email caroline.miskin@icaew.com with details of the date and time of the call and the length of time you waited. Please include any additional information that may be relevant, such as the call being cut off.

ICAEW welcomes the transparency provided by the new dashboard, Check HMRC’s current performance and service levels, which was previously tested on the HMRC online agent forum, and the improved where’s my reply tool, Check when you can expect a reply from HMRC.

However, these tools show that there are significant delays in many areas. For example:

  • R40s show a December 2022 target for return to normal service.
  • VAT group registrations and options to tax reveal a September 2022 target. Transfers of VAT numbers are not included on the dashboard and reports suggest that these applications are even more delayed.
  • Paper self assessment registrations have a November 2022 target. Online applications are being processed within the standard 15 working days.

Other areas, such as research and development tax credits, reclaiming tax paid by close companies on loans to participators (L2P) and CGT 60 day UK property reports do not feature on the dashboard. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty suggests using the feedback function within the dashboard if the service levels are not being met.


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