ICAEW is extremely disappointed to report that between 17 April and 2 June 2023, HMRC’s agent dedicated line (ADL) will only answer calls relating to self assessment late filling penalties and appeals and PAYE codes. The ADL will not answer any progress chasing calls. Agents will instead need to use online services or the main helplines for all other enquiries.
However, in many cases the online services do not work well or are not available to agents. For example, agents do not have access to the online service for appealing late filing penalties and the agent service for requesting a change to a tax code does not appear to work correctly.
ICAEW has made representations (including jointly with other bodies) that HMRC needs additional funding and new approaches to tackling its unacceptable level of customer service. HMRC has indicated that it is not seeking additional funding from government. It is instead seeking to move demand to self-serve online services.
HMRC has asked ICAEW to share the following details of online services and tips for when it is necessary to write in.
“HMRC’s online services
To help us provide the best service we can, we want to make sure that you always use our digital services where possible.
We’re continually updating and improving our digital services and have listed some useful links below. This includes a new YouTube animation on the Income Record Viewer (IRV) , which you can pass on to your clients to show them how to authorise your IRV request.
- Income Record Viewer - check your clients pay and tax details, employment history and current year tax codes
- HMRC’s Service dashboard – you can check our current processing times and services levels for post and online requests
- Where’s my reply tool – find out when you can expect to get a reply from us for queries and requests you’ve made
- Agent Services Account – lets you include tax services onto your account such as Making Tax Digital VAT or the Trust Registration Service
- Self Assessment for agents – view your client’s PAYE coding notice, Self Assessment statements and payments, change clients contact details and much more
Tips for when you must use post
Going online provides instant access to information and is much quicker than calling or writing to us.
Our improved digital services mean you don’t have to send us your paperwork. Online forms are less likely to be rejected due to errors or missing information and some of our digital services have help functions built in. Another bonus of going online is it’s better for the environment and reduces the carbon footprint.
If you do need to post us something, these tips will help ensure your mail gets to the right place and can be dealt with as quickly as possible:
- use the right postcode and put the full postcode on the envelope, for example BX9 1AS
- use letter headings so they get to the right department – here’s a helpful list of letter headings specifically for agents and links to find the correct postal address
- put any identifiers such as your client’s National Insurance number and Unique Taxpayer Reference (if they have one) on the first page and make sure they’re clear and prominent
- only include supporting documents if they’ve been asked for or are needed, this includes covering letters
- don’t use the word ‘complaint’ unless it’s a genuine complaint
- make sure any print and post forms are complete and correct but remember if you can do it online it will be quicker.”
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