When HMRC recently announced the restrictions to the self assessment (SA) helpline and agent dedicated line (ADL), it had said that it would deal with calls relating to SA filing, payments and repayments for the 2022/23 tax year.
However, due to exceptional levels of demand, HMRC has now taken the further step of directing all progress-chasing queries for SA repayments to its digital Where’s my reply? tool. This restriction applies from Friday 22 December 2023 to calls to the ADL and webchats for SA repayments.
The Where’s my reply? tool provides an estimated date for when an agent or taxpayer can expect to get a reply from HMRC. It is not case specific. After providing an expected response date, for repayments the tool says:
“HMRC has security measures in place to protect customers against fraud which may cause a delay.
“Please allow up to a further 12 weeks before contacting HMRC about your request.”
HMRC has confirmed that if an agent calls about an SA repayment, the agent has checked Where’s my reply? and the repayment is beyond the expected date stated on Where’s my reply?, HMRC will deal with the query as usual. This applies to the ADL and webchat. However, HMRC’s advisers may not be able to give a progress update if the repayment claim is undergoing security checks. Security checks may take up to 12 weeks at peak times.
Before this restriction was introduced, it is understood that many progress-chasing queries were not near the deadline and the agent had not checked the estimated date using the ‘Where’s my reply?’ tool.
As noted in Agent Update 115, HMRC has stopped issuing letters informing taxpayers and agents that an SA repayment has been issued. Where taxpayers had opted to receive emails, these have also been paused temporarily pending IT improvements. However, taxpayers can use their online account or the HMRC app to check transactions. Agents can review transactions on behalf of their clients via HMRC’s online services for agents account.
- 22 Dec 2023 (03: 30 PM GMT)
- Updated 22 December 2023: HMRC has confirmed that it will accept a query if the repayment has gone beyond the expected date stated on ‘Where’s my reply’. However, it is important to note that some SA repayment cases can require additional security checks before they can be processed. Security checks can take up to 12 weeks during peak times. HMRC’s advisers may not be able to give a progress update if the repayment claim is undergoing security checks.
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