Now the tax authorities will cut you off after you have been forced to talk with an automated voting system for 10 minutes

Now the tax authorities will cut you off after you have been forced to talk with an automated voting system for 10 minutes

Taxpayers spend hours contacting HM Revenue & Customs by telephone to be cut off.

Readers have told Money Mail that they consider it & # 39; impossible & # 39; to speak with the tax official, as the latest figures show that the department is not meeting its call answering goals.

Many reported being cut off after speaking with an automated voice system for more than ten minutes. The frustration is because many received sanction notifications for late tax returns in the new financial year.

Hard to reach: Readers have told Money Mail that they think it & # 39; impossible & # 39; to speak with the tax official, as the latest figures show that the department is not meeting its call answering goals

Hard to reach: Readers have told Money Mail that they think it & # 39; impossible & # 39; to speak with the tax official, as the latest figures show that the department is not meeting its call answering goals

April also sees people flood HMRC with questions about new tax codes, rights, and changes to the system.

Taxpayers calling the 0300 number – charging up to 10p per minute (landline) or up to 40p (mobile) – are greeted with the message: & # 39; We are currently very busy and you may have to wait longer to speak to an adviser. & # 39;

Callers must then speak with an automated voice recording to categorize their call. This can take ten minutes before the caller is put on hold or asked to try and close it later.

An independent consultant spent the entire Friday afternoon in vain talking to HMRC about a £ 100 fine she had wrongly received for a late tax return she filed in December.

She says: & # 39; It was an automatic message for ten minutes, and at the end they said we were too busy and the phone line died. It is a ridiculous system. They make it incredibly difficult to talk to someone.

& # 39; I can't tell you how many hours I wasted on this. People just want to pay their taxes and are a good member of society, but they make it as difficult as possible. & # 39;

The latest figures from HMRC show that the average time to answer a call in February was six minutes was 27 seconds, but this does not include the automated voice system. The target time is five minutes.

The average response time from April 2018 to February 2019 was five minutes 14 seconds – an increase of four minutes 27 seconds compared to the same period a year earlier.

The tax office also wants to ensure that no more than 15% of customers wait more than ten minutes to speak to an adviser.

But in February 29 percent of the calls went unanswered for at least ten minutes. One worker said they had been on hold for 45 minutes.

A HMRC spokesperson says: & # 39; We know that in busy times some customers have to wait longer, and we do everything we can to keep all waiting times as low as possible. & # 39;

b.wilkinson@dailymail.co.uk

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