Some shocking news was announced on 8th June 2024. With only four day’s notice, HMRC announced that they would be disconnecting their Self-Assessment telephone helpline for three months.
The self-assessment helpline is to be closed from 12th June 2024 until 4th September 2024.
HMRC says this is a ‘trial,’ however according to statistics from last year 1,200,000 people called the helpline in the same 2022 period.
This is obviously a massive blow, people are unable to contact HMRC for three months and could be worrying about their tax all that time.
HMRC’s advice is to ‘do things online’ however sadly often the reason why people have to telephone the helpline is that it can’t be done online. Or if it can, it is unclear how to do this and people would waste much of their time trying to work out how to do it.
I regularly receive feedback from people who have tried to look up details on their own personal tax account, only to give up as they find the systems not easy to use.
Similarly, people are often confused by the HMRC tax computations and statements of account. To someone not used to their particular format, they are unclear and can lead people to worry about their tax position. Now, they won’t even be able to try and telephone HMRC for three months.
Some things can’t actually be dealt with online, and can only be cleared up with a phone call. Several times I have requested things using HMRC systems only for them not to be processed and had to phone to speak with someone who could clear the block.
HMRC suggest their online chat, however the last time I trialled this after waiting in a queue was given the wrong advice and told that they could not help me. I had to join the back of the queue to ‘speak’ with another adviser who actually was able to make the adjustment required as should have been done originally.
I am available to answer queries via email (a medium HMRC still don’t use) and there is no charge for the initial consultation. I am also often able to reply outside of normal working hours and at the weekend, so you don’t have to worry any longer.