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CT & VAT Phone Lines closing 3 days this month

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The CT & VAT phone lines are closing on 3rd, 10th and 17th December so they can 'see how it goes', and so that they can catch up on their stockpile of post that has built up 'over the past year'.

Explains where all my VAT484s have disappeared, and why they keep penalising my CT clients even though we have written multiple times to inform them that the companies are dormant and have never traded.

Because closing and reducing phone line hours worked so well over Covid ....

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By GHarr497688
01st Dec 2021 15:43

HMRC are pathetic. Words fail me.

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Ivor Windybottom
By Ivor Windybottom
01st Dec 2021 16:26

I assumed that they would be shutting for Christmas and New Year on 17th anyway.

Doubt we'll get any joy from HMRC after 16th December until 10 January.

Ho hum!

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By David Ex
01st Dec 2021 16:33

And the really insulting thing is that all the HMRC initiatives seem to be based on the premise that taxpayers and advisors aren’t trying hard enough!

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boxfile
By spilly
01st Dec 2021 23:56

Maybe we should all write in to HMRC decrying this cut in the phone line accessibility.

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By Duggimon
02nd Dec 2021 09:05

To be fair to HMRC, while a lot of what they do wrong is their fault, the fact that they lack the resources to do their jobs isn't really on them. They don't decide their own budget, only how to spend it, and if they answer the phones every day but the post builds up for months, a reallocation of resources makes sense.

What would be even better would be a larger investment in them so they could do both but that would be down to the government, and their ability to properly allocate resources and manage difficult situations makes HMRC look capable.

I am quite sure several studies have been posted on here in the past showing that any investment in HMRC that boosts their tax collecting capabilities more than pays for itself in increased revenues, yet here we are with a tax collection agency that has to choose between doing the phones and doing the letters.

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By bernard michael
02nd Dec 2021 09:20

As I often am by HMRC yet again I am puzzled by their Covid situation
The phone service is slower,which indicates fewer staff answering the phones.
The system answering /processing mail is taking longer, which again indicates fewer staff
Has HMRC actually lost staff or are they less efficient or is there a simpal answer I can't see ??

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Leywood
02nd Dec 2021 10:02

They havent got the spy cameras on their staff so the staff will be free to do what they want at home whilst pretending to work. Anyone having worked with call centre staff know even with the incentive plans and/or 10 lashes every hour that their managers dole out to get them to do their jobs properly that the lazy ones and there are many of them, will take every chance to have a skive.

The department heads of HMRC have lost control

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Replying to Leywood:
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By codling
02nd Dec 2021 11:11

It is not just recently that skiving has been rife in HMRC. Many moons ago my first job was as a tax Officer with HMRC working in an L shaped room. Around the corner from the wall clock sat the clerical assistants and one of these in particular spent many hours per week walking round the corner with the same piece of paper in hand, trying to look as though she was working but clearly looking to see whether it was home time yet!
One person got totally fed up up with this and finally piped up with the comment "Do you spend all your time watching the clock." To which the sharp reply was " Why, do you spend all of your time watching me?"

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Hugo Fair
02nd Dec 2021 10:38

This is NOT a defence of HMRC ... but "is there a simpal answer I can't see?"
Well you've omitted one key variable in balancing 'service delivery' - namely the *volume* of requests for a service (i.e. number of calls/letters/etc to HMRC).

I'm well aware that their current level of ineptitude ensures that the balance gets worse (because their lack of practical responses in itself drives an increase in more requests) - so the extra requests are not an excuse they can readily use - but you did ask if there was an alternative to HMRC having lost staff!

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
02nd Dec 2021 12:00

I have adjusted our working hours to reflect this, and set the office phone to play a long winded explanatory message that we are calling it "FY Friday"

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By Tom Cross
02nd Dec 2021 12:14

Since the pandemic began, the civil service movement, HMRC included, have done their very best to portray how stretched their resources have been.
Do any of these public sector individuals (with protected employment, sick pay arrangements and gold plated pensions) take just one moment to consider what others, in society, have had to cope with?
All the nurses, frontline critical care unit specialists, those who've vaccinated us (many volunteers) teachers, postmen and postwomen, delivery drivers etc etc, none of whom have given a thought for their own safety and welfare.
No, of course they don't.
Oddly enough, the civil service don't seem to appreciate that, there are seven days in a week and, during January and probably for the 26th year in a row, I'll be working all of them.
Some, in the public sector, just don't know they are born.

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By alialdabawi
03rd Dec 2021 11:08

Harra mentioned to the room yesterday that he reckons 3-4 months more to deal with and overcome backlogs. 'I will test your patience for a little while longer' - though to me he did seem like he was listening and would genuinely like to have a better relationship with agents. Perhaps the profession should have used yesterday as an opportunity to rally HMRC's leadership with more intensity than was actually brought.

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