Hello, Is It HMRC You’re Looking For…

A new report found that 1 in 10 callers to HMRC HQ never reach an operator. That is 4 million Brits ignored last year.

Waiting, and waiting, and waiting…and waiting. Then slamming the phone down in frustration.

“All I want to do is pay my taxes,” said the self employed business owner who couldn’t get through to HMRC.

“Hello, is it HMRC you’re looking for?” said the operator when he finally got through.

“YES!” said the business owner, thankful to be through at last, yet annoyed at the same time.

MPs have sprung into action, with a recent meeting in the House of Commons where a lot of politicians sat around and talked a lot, and then, got on to the subject of HMRC and their customer service.

“Poor performance,” was the 2 words highlighted in the notes from that meeting, with one MP called Meg Hillier commenting that HMRC should “make it easier for workers to play by the rules.”

Isn’t that what every contractor, freelancer, gig worker, and self employed business owner wants to do? All they want to do is phone up HMRC on their official hotline and then pay their taxes. No credit cards allowed remember.

Instead they use a debit card or ask the question…”do you take a cheque?” If they manage to get through and speak with someone of course.

Back to the report and what they found is HMRC customer service is worse now than 20 years ago. That’s right. In 1998 only 1 in 20 callers failed to get through with an operator, compared to 1 in 10 right now in 2018.

It was also mentioned that 14% of callers did eventually get through to an operator if they were prepared to wait 10 minutes or more.

So put your feet up, grab a cup of tea and watch some TV is my advice when calling HMRC. Yes, they will answer eventually, but you might have to wait a bit.

You could even eat a ham sandwich and some celery sticks while “on hold” to HMRC, and then, right before a customer representative does answer your call all you have to do is wash everything down with a freshly squeezed orange juice.

“I’m just finishing my lunch, can you hold on a few minutes,” you might want to say if they answer early.

Some experts have chimed in and claimed that HMRC have down sized their call centres in a bid to entice more people to use the website and the whole making tax digital thing.

In our opinion that is what you should do…use the website.

Or hire an accountant to do all the tax stuff for you.

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