HMRC self-assessment helpline 0300 200 3310 will be closed between 12 June and 4 September 2023 as per HMRC’s announcement on Friday 9th June and a trial to redirect Self Assessment queries from the helpline to HMRC’s digital services will run between 12 June and 4 September 2023.
The three-month closure of the HMRC self-assessment helpline underlines the resourcing problems at HMRC and will be a ‘massive inconvenience’ for taxpayers.
HMRC announced that the phone lines for taxpayers with self-assessment problems usually referred to as the HMRC self-assessment helpline will be closed from 12 June until 4 September.
This will free up 350 advisers (full-time equivalent) to take urgent calls on other lines and answer customer correspondence. If focused on urgent calls, these advisers will answer around 6,600 each day, ensuring more customers who really need to speak to an adviser can do so.
Most SA customers use HMRC’s online services, with 97% filing online.
HMRC self-assessment helpline will re-open on 4 September 2023 so customers can receive expert support in the 5 months running up to the SA deadline on 31 January 2024.
Extra support team
While the self-assessment helpline is closed, taxpayers who need extra support can reach HMRC’s extra support team via web chat or by phoning any HMRC helpline, such as the income tax general queries line 0300 200 3300.
Angela MacDonald, Deputy CEO and Second Permanent Secretary at HMRC said:
We continually review our services to see how they can best serve the public and we are taking steps to improve them.
A seasonal SA helpline will make more of our expert advisers available where they are most needed during the summer months.
Our online services, including the HMRC app, are quick and easy to use and have been significantly improved. I urge customers to explore these fully before deciding to wait to speak to us on the phone.
HMRC self-assessment helpline receives far fewer calls over the summer, with calls around 50% higher between January and April compared with June to August.
Around two-thirds of all SA calls can be resolved by customers themselves online. At the same time, HMRC will increase the number of advisers available on webchat, the Online Service Helpline and the Extra Support Team Helpline.
HMRC will continue to transform its online services, increasing their capabilities and ease of use so they become the default option for the vast majority of customers.
Asking for a tax return to be issued or withdrawn
Taxpayers can check online whether they need to complete a self-assessment tax return.
Taxpayers who need to register for self-assessment should follow the online guidance.
Where a tax return has been issued but there is no requirement to file, the taxpayer or their agent needs to request that the return is formally withdrawn. It is not currently possible to do this online. Taxpayers can either use HMRC’s digital assistant and webchat, write to HMRC or wait to phone in September. Agents can request the withdrawal of tax returns through the Agent Dedicated Line.
Highlighting the seriousness of HMRC’s resourcing problems, it has been announced that the self-assessment helpline will be closed until September. The restrictions on the agent-dedicated line were removed from 5 June. Agents will be able to have self-assessment queries answered on that line.
How can MCL Accountants help?
Contact MCL Accountants on 01702 593 029 if you would like us to assist you with your self-assessment queries whilst the HMRC self-assessment helpline is closed as we can speak to HMRC using the agent-dedicated helpline or if you need any assistance with the preparation and submission of your business accounts and self-assessment tax returns to HMRC.
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Ishan provides financial management, taxation and transactional advice to business entities of all sizes. His expert areas include statutory compliance, business taxation, personal tax & transactional processing and systems. Industry sectors include professional services, retail, hospitality and entertaining & media and advertising services.