NAO: HMRC still failing on customer service

HMRC's customer service is "poor value for money" , according to an NAO report that estimated delays in answering calls were costing taxpayers around £136m a year.

The NAO report on HMRC customer service acknowledged the tax department's attempts to restore service quality from the lows of 2010, but said it still had a long way to go to be on par with other governmental organisations. 

As people have "no choice" in dealing with the Revenue, it's HMRC's duty to provide the public good customer service, the NAO said.

Some 20m calls went unanswered by HMRC in 2011-12, with an average of 74% of all calls answered -  described by the NAO as a "low level of service". 

However, the number of answered calls could be overestimated, as calls are deemed answered even when put through to an automated message.

HMRC spends roughly a quarter of its expenditure, £900m, on customer service each year.

"Despite some welcome improvements, HMRC has acknowledged that its performance in providing services to the public has been unacceptable." said head of the NAO Amyas Morse.

Continued...

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Comments

£136m wasted

david5541 | | Permalink

three cheers to margeret hodge again I quote

"I find it totally unacceptable that HMRc uses COSTLY(cable and wirless) ) 0845 numbers and charges people for the privilege of waiting for the department to pick up"

 

obviously Lynn Homer and her clique ignore agents and only listen to mps like margeret hodge and the NAO.

 

in the meantime cable and wireless profit to the tune of 136m.

Democratus's picture

HMRC doesn't have customers    1 thanks

Democratus | | Permalink

If so I'd shop around for a better value for money home for my hard earned tax and NICs

dennismiller's picture

Targets

dennismiller | | Permalink

A target of 90% to answer calls is what they are aiming for.

Would it be ok for me to have a target of 90% tax returns filed by 31st January each year?

I wouldn't mind at all if all that happened was Margaret Hodge came round and gave me a ticking off!

Perhaps if we 'fined' HMRC £100 every time they failed to answer a call, that might wake their ideas up a bit. It is certainly supposed to work for the rest of the country.

What a disgrace!!

Now. How about a human answering the phone?

Dave Watkinson | | Permalink

Any taxpayer wanting to contact HMRC (HM must shudder everytime someone puts her name to this inane organisation) has to sit through over 5 minutes of recorded crap, during which they treat ordinarily intelligent individuals like childish morons.  And these are the same people who in the instance they expect to know as much about tax law as the so called experts in their own department.

The only saving grace is that they are better at communication than the IRS in America, but the chimps in London Zoo could achieve that!