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Relaunch of Agent Dedicated Line

We are pleased that we are now able to trial a relaunch of the Agent Dedicated Line. To help us provide priority access for agents, we are expecting agents to use digital services where these are available and to get information from clients where this is possible.

We are trialling a prioritised support service from 14 J‌un‌e 2021 (Mo‌nd‌ay to Fr‌id‌ay 8‌‌‌am to 6‌‌‌pm on 0300‌‌ 200 33‌‌‌11) and we expect calls to this line to be answered within 10 minutes. It will help us to maintain the service, if agents spread calls throughout the day rather than phoning as soon as the helpline opens. We’ll keep your representative bodies informed about how we perform against this target.

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Teesside
By Teesside
11th Jun 2021 12:22

I've noticed this week the queuing time for the Agent dedicated line has only been around 10-15 mins this week and I've made several calls this week at different times.

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By Hugo Fair
11th Jun 2021 12:39

Not quite a return to 'normal' on this front (even if that wasn't setting the bar rather low), as the HMRC email continues:

"Where you can get the information you need from your client, that’s what we expect you to do.
Where there are digital services*, we expect you to use them. We won’t be offering phone support for these services, other than when you need support to get you back online."
[* = listed as progress chasing; requesting an SA302, reporting a death; reporting various scam attempts].

But perhaps of more interest, it also sets out some of their plans (spoiler alert it's the 3rd one that's probably of greatest interest):

"Service developments
We will continue to develop more digital services for agents, with a view to materially reducing your need to phone us. Examples of some that we are currently working on are:
• forms processing – we are looking at ways to process claims more efficiently. We’re working with our IT colleagues on how we can use scanning technology to help us improve the processing of R40 (PPI interest taxed at source) and other high demand forms
• agent authorisation processes – longer term, we are looking at ways to streamline agent client authorisation processes while retaining security and GDPR requirements, developing smoother access to client information
• Agent Income Record Viewer – HMRC has developed an Agent Income Record Viewer service, which provides agents with their client’s pay and tax details, employment history and tax code details. It involves a digital handshake which needs to be completed by your client; this is to protect your client’s security and comply with our GDPR obligations.
[This tool is still in private beta testing and so is limited to a small number of agents but we can now extend the service to a further 200 agents. If you would like to be part of this trial, please contact Denise Beat. We hope to be able to extend this service to all agents in the future.]

So don't form an orderly queue ... send your application to Denise at [email protected] NOW!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
Teesside
By Teesside
11th Jun 2021 12:57

I did also like the 3rd offering and I have sent in my email to request an opportunity to be involved with trial.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Jun 2021 14:13

its funny, I thought we already had a "agent income record viewer", but it was essentially rubbish as you couldn't use if for half the tax year, and it only had about 30% of the records on until you were into the final 2 months of the year (when we are all but done) and there was about 60%.

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By NYB
11th Jun 2021 12:40

45 minutes for me the other afternoon. No wait at 8.00am following morning. Promising a response within 10 minutes is not exactly over achieving.

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By SteveHa
11th Jun 2021 13:24

I called yesterday morning at around 08:20, the call was answered almost immediately, and the HMRC officer seemed to know that I was calling as an agent before I'd opened my mouth, so looks like the "trial" may have started early.

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By amycollier2893
11th Jun 2021 13:44

Why do HMRC think it necessary to report to our professional bodies whether they meet the 10 minute target or not? I suspect our own personal experiences will enable us to work this out for ourselves. Just as we will time our calls to seek to minimise any delay.

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Replying to amycollier2893:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Jun 2021 14:56

They have been up their backsides about it for some time.

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By snickersinatwix
11th Jun 2021 15:19

Trial?????????

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Replying to snickersinatwix:
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By Leywood
12th Jun 2021 10:39

Quite!

Its like thety are doing us a favour, but also saying no way on this planet are we going to allow you guys to actually phone us in future.

Plus they seem to think a wait of up to 10 minutes is acceptable. I suppose it is after waiting and hour plus of late, but its still utterly ridiculous.

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
11th Jun 2021 22:02

I sent my agent email around the office with the words ‘FYI : wa-hooo!!’
Probably over-egged it a bit, but TBC

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By Moonbeam
13th Jun 2021 11:32

I've always found 8.00am is the best time and have got through very fast, but I don't have to call them very often.

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By snickersinatwix
14th Jun 2021 11:21

I rang said helpline this morning.

I got through in 8 minutes and 31 seconds, whoop whoop.

An improvement, but still not good enough.

Also had to listen to lots of pre-recorded messages about which website to go to if someone has died, and also telling me that if I have saved up lots of queries for a number of clients (which I most certainly have been doing recently given the 30 min + waiting time), they may not be able to deal with all of them in one go!!!!

Do they think we ring them for fun?

This morning I was ringing them because THEY have made a mistake - THEY had promised to correct it by 9 June (as per an earlier call) and THEY have not yet done so.

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By jethro
14th Jun 2021 11:40

Calls being answered swiftly is not necessarily the point, though. Twice in the last three weeks or so I have called and been advised that my query (what is happening with......) cannot be dealt with at this time because staff are dealing with refunds and other, apparently Covid-related, matters. Instead, my query would be referred to a "technician" who would call me back for which I confirmed my phone number and gave a password. Needless to say I am still waiting a call.

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Replying to jethro:
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By NYB
14th Jun 2021 11:54

Has anybody received a call back from a technician? Are there any or are they in the cloud? Lets face it most of us experienced dont call HMRC unless we really have to and its normally at a level that requires more expert advice. I get so cross when someone goes away and comes back five minutes later saying "my guidance says". Yes I can read the guidance but I need a bit more in depth. And half the time they havent a clue what you are trying to tell them. FPS seemed to baffle one last week.

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Replying to jethro:
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By Leywood
14th Jun 2021 13:06

[quote=jethro]

''Twice in the last three weeks or so I have called ''

But that was before re-instatement of the agent line, so kind of to be expected as the front line call answering staff have no clue, never did have any clue (in the last 10 years anyway!).

Not saying its right, mind, its atrocious service from HMRC all round.

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
24th Jun 2021 14:21

I rang the ADL at 9.10 this morning and after 2 mins 17 of pre-recorded voice messages was informed that they don't deal with CT I had to ring the normal CT helpline. Which was disappointing to hear.

With a heavy heart, I rang said CTline, which suprisingly was answered in 14 minutes by a polite young lady who - after going away to speak to her supervisor - informed me that due to covid / WFH there was a long backlog, thus why my electronically filed amended 2019 CT600 with carryback relief from 2020 hadn't been processed and the much needed refund hadn't been paid out. in normal circumstances i could expect a call within 9 working days, but "with covid etc at the minute, who knows how long it'll be".
Thanks.

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